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Brendan's top National tip

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sounds like a man who knows his way around a racehorse. If you fancy him as a tipster for the Grand National, he's all over Portrait King.

O'Connell gets Windermere ride

Brian O'Connell will replace the injured Robbie McNamara aboard Lord Windermere in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The jockey steps in for the ride aboard the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner after McNamara sustained chest, abdominal and spinal injuries from a fall at Wexford on Friday.

O'Connell has previously ridden Tharawaat to finish eighth and last year was on board Quito De La Roque, who pulled up at the 21st fence.

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Ladbrokes: National McCoy win is 'nightmare scenario'

Betting firm Ladbrokes has said today's Grand National race could be the worst ever for bookies as the nation gets behind champion jockey AP McCoy.

"A win for McCoy is our nightmare scenario", David Williams of Ladbrokes said.

Shutthefrontdoor could easily be the best backed horse we've ever known in the Grand National.We're scared even to think about it.

More often than not Aintree throws up a host of stories but this year there's only one show in town. The entire race revolves around one man and one horse.

We reckon it will cost the industry £30 million if McCoy wins but that could be conservative.

– Ladbrokes

AP McCoy to appear in his final Grand National

AP McCoy to appear in his final Grand National. Credit: PA

The 19-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy appears in his final Grand National before his planned end-of-season retirement.

The Northern Irish jockey is 'very likely' to ride bookmakers' favourite Shutthefrontdoor as he goes in search of a second Aintree victory following his 2010 win with Don't Push It. McCoy is set to end his horse racing career at Sandown Park 25 April, but success in the National may lead the 40-year-old into early retirement.

Grand National: 40 race in biggest day for UK betting

The biggest betting day for UK horse racing has arrived as the world's most famous steeplechase race kicks off with 40 runners and riders racing over the four-mile, four-furlong (7.2km) course.

Grand National: 40 race in biggest day for UK betting. Credit: PA

The Grand National takes places at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. Possible runners include last year's winner Pineau De Re and 2014 runner-up Balthazar King, while Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere could become the first horse since Red Rum in 1975 to win the Gold Cup-National double

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Leighton Aspell: 'This is what we do it for'

Leighton Aspell retired from racing in 2007 but returned and is now a National winner. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Leighton Aspell has hailed his Grand National win on Pineau De Ray, saying: "This is what we do it for."

"I've been watching the National since I was a very young boy," said the jockey, who quit the saddle in 2007 before returning.

The 11-year-old horse jumped the final fence in a clear lead and his pursuers never looked like bridging the gap as he galloped all the way to the line to secure a momentous five-length victory.

Aspell said he had "craved" success in the famous race after watching others succeed, adding: "To get a chance to ride in the National is a great thing, and to get on one with a chance is even better."

Grand National: No horses injured during race

The British Horseracing Authority has said there are no immediate signs of injuries to either horses or jockeys from today's Grand National, in which Pineau De Re came first.

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