Now that State Of Play has been guaranteed a spot in the final 40 for the 2012 Grand National, Noel Fehily has been confirmed as his jockey and will be the one to guide the 12 year old in, what will hopefully be, a history making race. Having placed for three consecutive years, if he makes it four in a row, he will be the only horse to have ever done it.
[Racecard State of Play]
This will be Fehily's 10th trip to the Grand National and though he has never won it, he did finish 5th in 2006 on Risk Assessor. He didn't ride in either of the 2010 or 2011 renewals so it's a great opportunity for Fehily on the back of a successful 2012 Cheltenham Festival.
State Of Play has once again been given an extraordinarily daring preparation by Evan Williams. Since Boxing Day 2008, State Of Play has had just four starts. All but one of them have been in the Grand National, in the last three runnings of which he has finished fourth, third and fourth respectively – in the process vindicating Williams' conviction that he is best when absolutely fresh.
With two other horses entered, Evan Williams has confirmed that stable jockey Paul Moloney will ride Cappa Bleu and although his third horse, Deep Purple, has made the cut, Williams has stressed that he is “desperately” keen to see rain on Merseyside next week if they are all to take their chance.
State Of Play is currently 33/1 with Paddy Power.