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Grand National: Hewick given top weight at Aintree

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Hewick has been given top weight at the Grand National as trainer John Hanlon plots a memorable hat-trick for the King George VI Chase winner.

Hewick, who clinched a last-gasp win at Kempton and is among the Cheltenham Gold Cup favourites, has been handed 11st 12lb for the contest on 13 April.

“I knew he’d have top weight. You have to expect that. He probably deserves top weight,” Hanlon said.

He leads the 87 entrants for the four-and-a-quarter-mile race at Aintree.

Last year’s winner Corach Rambler has been handed 11st 2lb, having triumphed carrying 10st 5lb, with 2023 runner-up Vanillier going off 2lb more than in 2023 at 10st 8lb.

Conflated, one of several Gordon Elliott-trained entries, is second in the handicap on 11st 9lb, while 2022 winner Noble Yeats is 1lb lower.

Monbeg Genius, classed among the favourites to line up at Aintree, is one of six entries sitting on 10st 4lb.

But there has been controversy around the gelding, who is owned by former Tory peer Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, the pair at the heart of an investigation over supplying personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, the Racing Post wrote a column, external suggesting a victory for Monbeg Genius has “the potential to cause significant damage to racing”.

Latest Grand National odds:

14/1 joint favourites Corach Rambler, Mahler Mission; 16-1 Vanillier; 20-1 Monbeg Genius, Noble Yeats; 22-1 Panda Boy; 25-1 Kitty’s Light, Capodanno; 28-1 Nassalam; 33-1 Hewick, Minella Indo, Latenightpass, Threeunderthrufive, Delta Work.

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