Grand National: Aintree meeting to start; amputee jockey Guy Disney rides

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Guy Disney: Former soldier’s journey from war to riding winners
Randox Health Grand National
Venue: Aintree Meeting: 12-14 April Grand National: 17:15 BST Saturday
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live, sports extra and the BBC Sport website More details

Aintree’s Grand National meeting starts on Thursday with former soldier Guy Disney set to become the first amputee jockey to ride over the big fences.

The 35-year-old former army captain will ride Gallery Exhibition, trained by Kim Bailey, in the Foxhunters Chase.

Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Might Bite heads the field for the Betway Bowl as the three-day fixture starts.

The line-up for Saturday’s Grand National will be confirmed at about 10:00 BST.

A maximum of 40 runners will contest the big race.

There are currently 63 entries, headed by top weight Minella Rocco, with those numbered 41 and above needing withdrawals to be guaranteed a run.

Disney seeks fairytale win

Last year Disney became the first amputee jockey to win at a professional racecourse in Britain, guiding Rathlin Rose to victory in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown.

He repeated the feat on the same horse this year.

Disney rides with a prosthetic lower right leg after the vehicle in which he was travelling while on service in Afghanistan was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in July 2009.

Gallery Exhibition is around a 20-1 chance, with Balnaslow, Grand Vision and Wonderful Charm among the favourites.

Earlier, the Nicky Henderson-trained King George VI Chase winner Might Bite returns after finishing second to Native River in last month’s Gold Cup.

Opponents include Bristol De Mai, for Nigel Twiston-Davies, and last year’s winner Tea For Two, again ridden by Lizzie Kelly.

Supasundae, trained by Jessica Harrington, heads runners in the Aintree Hurdle, with veterans My Tent Or Yours and The New One among the rivals.

Might Bite and Native River
Might Bite (left) was beaten by four and a half lengths by Native River (right) at Cheltenham

Thursday schedule

Live coverage (all times BST)

13:00-16:15: 5 live Racing on sports extra, with commentary of the main races also on BBC Radio 5 live.

Racecard

13:45: Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase 2m 4f

14:20: Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle 2m 1f

14:50: Betway Bowl Steeple Chase 3m 1f

15:25: Betway Aintree Hurdle 2m 4f

16:05: Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase 2m 5f

16:40: Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase 2m

17:15: Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat 2m 1f

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