It’s almost hard to believe that trainer Nicky Henderson, who has won just about every race in the country, has actually never won the Grand National. Hoping to put that right this year all his eggs are now firmly in the Roberto Goldback basket – his one and only runner.
[Racecard Roberto Goldback]
Year on year he battles Paul Nicholls for the Trainer Championship and lost out last year when Neptune Collonges won for Nicholls. At the point of writing this, Henderson has currently earned £2,440,692 this season with Paul Nicholls very close behind on £2,078,448 so it looks like it will come down to the wire again at the Aintree Festival but victory on Saturday would secure Henderson the trainers’ championship in fine style.
Despite saddling 31 runners since 1980, the closest Henderson has come to winning the Grand National was in his very first attempt back in 1979 when he saddled Zongalero to finish second to Rubstic, equalled only in 1987 when The Tsarevich also finished 2nd.
Speaking about Roberto Goldback, Henderson said “Everything has gone really well. He’s been consistent all season,
“He just loves good ground. He had to run in some soft ground a couple of times. He’s in good form. We practised him at home on Aintree style fences and if he goes as well on the day as he has been practising it will be great.”
With Grandouet and Oscar Whiskey running for him today in the John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle and with a 1st prize of £112,540 he could put even more daylight between himself and his nearest rival so it’s not all doom and gloom in the henderson camp though a Grand National win for him would be fantastic!