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Longsdon delight as Snow Leopardess is guaranteed National run

Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess is guaranteed a run in the Randox Grand National following the scratchings deadline for the Aintree spectacular next month.

A maximum field of 40 is allowed in the world’s greatest steeplechase – and the Charlie Longsdon-trained mare is now number 38 in the list.

It is of great relief to connections of the grey – who is already a mother after giving birth to a foal during a two-year-old spell off the track – although they hope there will be some give in the ground come the big day on April 9.

Snow Leopardess showed her aptitude for the unique fences with a narrow victory in the Becher Chase on soft ground in December, making most of the running over the three and a quarter miles. She has won all her three races this season.

Longsdon said: “It’s great she’s in. Now it’s up to us to get ourselves organised and get her there, so fingers crossed.

“She’s very well, she worked this morning. She’ll go and jump the National fences in Lambourn at the end of the week and do a bit of work down there and we’ll probably just do bits and bobs until the race.

“We’d love some rain. It doesn’t have to be too slow, it just helps – a little bit of rain would do no harm at all.”

The top three horses in the weights, Conflated, Galvin and Melon, were among 14 taken out. The others were: Back On The Lash, Braeside, Chantry House, Cloudy Glen, Franco de Port, Itchy Feet, Jett, Kapcourse, Milan Native, Ontheropes and Windsor Avenue.

Rachael Blackmore celebrates National glory with Minella Times
Rachael Blackmore celebrates National glory with Minella Times (Tim Goode/PA)

The weights are now headed on 11st 10lb by the Henry de Bromhead-trained Chris’s Dream with his stablemate, last year’s winner Minella Times, next in on 11st 9lb.

Delta Work, winner of last week’s cross-country chase at Cheltenham where he beat his stable companion Tiger Roll, is one of six in the top 40 for owners Gigginstown Hose Stud, all of which are trained by Gordon Elliott.

Number 40 is now Harry Fry’s Phoenix Way, one of six for owner JP McManus and now guaranteed a run. Aintree veteran Blaklion is number 43 and Warwick Classic Chase winner Eclair Surf is 47.

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