National hero still on track for Ayr
Updated: Wednesday, 17 Apr 2013 17:05
Auroras Encore is set to take his chance in the Coral Scottish Grand National on Saturday despite heavy rain at Ayr on Wednesday.
Connections of the Aintree hero confirmed their intention to send a strong team, among which will be the 11-year-old who will bid to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win both English and Scottish Nationals in the same season.
Trainer Sue Smith's husband and assistant, Harvey, said: "They are all in good form and they are all going.
"It soon dries up this time of year. They are all running, no problem."
The going at Ayr was described as soft, heavy in places on Wednesday afternoon after 20 millimetres of rain. There was some standing water on the track but that was expected to drain away.
Although further showers are forecast overnight, it is expected to be dry up to and including Saturday.
"We have got no problems, we could have raced today but it would not have been pleasant," said acting clerk of the course Harriet Graham.
"We are calling it soft, heavy in places. We are forecast about five millimetres in showers tonight and into tomorrow, then dry from then on in.
"On that, we will be fairly testing ground but totally raceable. The fresh ground will be good for Saturday, but it's just not going to be for quick-ground horses.
"We do have a really nice piece of fresh ground not raced on this year for the National. Right down the inside it is fresh and it has taken the rain really well. The ground that has been raced on throughout the season has not taken it so well."