Connections of Bristol De Mai, the top weight in the 2019 Grand National, have confirmed that he has been withdrawn from the race. With options on the table, owners Isaac Souede and Simon Munir have decided to aim him at the Betway Bowl on the Thursday of the Grand National festival instead.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners made the announcement today. Bromley said: “The owners, in conjunction with Nigel Twiston-Davies and Daryl Jacob, have decided Bristol De Mai will run in the Betway Bowl at Aintree on Thursday – and will not be confirmed at the forfeit stage on Monday.

“He’s already beaten the horses he will face in the Bowl, it is likely to be a small field and the prize-money is excellent.”

They do still have Valtor in contention but with the alternative option of the Topham.

Bromley added: “The owners will be guided by whatever Nicky Henderson thinks is best for the horse.”

The departure of Bristol De Mai means that the next horse in line, Anibale Fly, will now move up into the top spot. That brings with it a weight increase of 4lbs so he will now run off 11-10 rather than the 11-06 he was originally given by the BHA Handicapper.

But the Grand National works with a trickle-down effect. So not only does the weight increase for Anibale Fly, but for all potential runners who are still in contention. All will see their weight rise by an additional 4lbs.

The new weights at the top will now look like this:

  • Anibale Fly – 11-10 (was 11-6)
  • Alpha Des Obeaux – 11-8 (was 11-4)
  • The Storyteller – 11-7 (was 11-3)
  • Valtor – 11-6 (was 11-2)
  • Tiger Roll – 11-5 (was 11-1)
  • Outlander – 11-4 (was 11-0)
  • Don Poli – 11-03 (was 10-13)
  • Sub Lieutenant – 11-03 (was 10-13)
  • Go Conquer – 11-03 (was 10-13)

All of that is based on Anibale Fly staying in the race. The signs are good that he will run. Frank Berry, racing manager for the nine-year-old’s owner J P McManus, said on Wednesday: “The plan is for Anibale Fly to run. He came out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup very well and Tony is happy with him.”

But every cloud has a silver lining. Bristol De Mai getting withdrawn is good news for connections of Singlefarmpayment who now officially makes the cut.

In Other News:

David Pipe has also withdrawn Daklondike. That’s not a huge surprise considering he refused to run last time out. He was number 34 on the list. What it does mean is that his other runner, Vieux Lion Rouge, now officially makes the cut.

Following on from the Cheltenham Festival and with the entries for the Irish Grand National also open, we are bound to see more defections at the next declaration stage on Monday, April 1st.

Gordon Elliott has earmarked at least three who could possibly go to Fairyhouse rather than Aintree. But he also hasn’t ruled out multiple runners who could race in both. The Irish National takes place on Monday, April 22nd and Elliott is confident that the 16-day break between races will be enough for some of his horses.

However, two of them, Don Poli and Outlander will not be included as they are heading to the sales at Aintree. That takes place two days before the National and with both guaranteed their spot in the race, they are an attractive proposition for any new owner who wants a 2019 Grand National runner.