Winning horse trainer Sue Smith has high hopes for her twin shot at tomorrow’s Grand National.
But she is not setting too much store by last year’s Aintree victory which saw her Bingley Moor stables become the first in Yorkshire to clinch the famous steeplechase since 1960.
She said 2013’s win by now-retired Auroras Encore was “not making too much difference”.
“You have to go into each race in the same state of mind each year,” said Mrs Smith, who is fielding two runners in the legendary race – Mr Moonshine and Vintage Star.
Both are ranked as outsiders to win the National, which has a £1m prize pot for the first time.
But as she made her way from High Eldwick to Aintree yesterday Mrs Smith said: “Both horses are very fit and we stand a good chance.
“They are in very good form and I’m really pleased with them.
“But as to our chances in the National, it’s a race with 40 runners. It’s a lottery really and you have to have luck on your side.
“You have to try to avoid the pitfalls associated with a race like this. If you can do this, you are as fit for success as anyone else. I’m very hopeful.”
Mrs Smith, wife of former champion showjumper Harvey Smith, left her stables yesterday morning, leaving the two National runners behind to make the journey later.
Stable jockey Ryan Mania, who rode Auroras Encore to victory last year, will be on board the ten-year-old Mr Moonshine. Vintage Star will be ridden by Brian Hughes.
Mr Moonshine is said to have run a good race at Kelso last month and finished third in the Becher Chase in December. He was pulled up in last year’s Grand National.
Bigger and stronger than his stablemate, Vintage Star, who is eight, he survived a fall at Cheltenham and is considered a ‘live outsider’.
Both horses were put through their paces at High Eldwick early yesterday before Mrs Smith left for Aintree.
Her tally of 56 winners this season is one of her best results since she became a trainer in 1980.
Asked if she herself was in good form ahead of the big day, she replied: “Yes, I am. Very.”