27 Years ago trainer Gordon Richards won the Grand National with the very popular Hallo Dandy, ridden by Neale Doughty, and this year his son, Nicky Richards, is hoping to repeat the family success with Skippers Brig.
A horse with some serious ability, Skippers Brig is potentially top class but training problems have hampered his chances and as a result he has been lightly raced, a fact that will not go unnoticed by the punters as they decide who to back in the 2011 Grand National.
He has proved himself when running third to Poquelin in the 2009 Boylesports Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and when switching to hurdles last month to show a clean pair of heels to his rivals in a qualifier for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at Haydock.
Carrying only 10-02 for this years race, he just scraped into the final 40 after three late defections. Nicky Richards has stated that he would prefer softish ground for his charge and he did perform well on good to soft ground last time out when defeating the well fancied Ballabriggs by nearly two lengths.
Skippers Brig has yet to win at over 24 furlongs but with excellent stamina in his pedigree I believe he will get around the course but is unlikely to be a serious contender for the title. Consider him fo an each-way bet if nothing else grabs your fancy.