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2013 Grand National runners - Always Waining seeks Aintree four-timer

Always Waining, ridden by Tom O'Brien, clears The Chair fence on the way to victory in the John Smith's Topham Chase at Aintree (credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Trainer Peter Bowen has three horses among the possible runners for the 2013 Aintree Grand National and plans to run two of them, Always Waining and Mumbles Head.

Bowen’s third entrant, Gullible Gordon, is more likely to go for the Topham Chase over one circuit of the unique fences on the eve of the Grand National.

Always Waining bids to add an incredible new chapter to the story of his Aintree heroics.

It’s now 36 years since Red Rum won his third Grand National, but Always Waining has also achieved an Aintree hat-trick having landed the Topham Chase for the last three years.

Although he remains entered for the chance to complete an astonishing Topham four-timer, Always Waining is instead set to be finally given an opportunity in the Grand National itself with connections having ummed and aahed about whether to go for the big one in previous years.

Stamina is supposedly one reason why the Topham has been preferred until now, but it should be pointed out Always Waining has also won over an extended three miles on the regular Aintree course.

The 12-year-old has raced only twice since last year's Topham success, most recently when tailed off on soft ground at Chepstow last month.

"He never shows much before Aintree," said Bowen. "But he's in good form, he's a spring horse and likes spring ground. He's still in the Topham but he'd only go there if it came up soft, which is unlikely."

With a largely dry forecast for this week, watering has started at Aintree. "That’s ridiculous, really," added Bowen. "I know they are playing it safe, but what about the fast-ground horses? A horse like Mr Frisk will never win again."

Mumbles Head has recently been bought by Patricia Thompson of the Cheveley Park Stud, who won the Grand National with her first runner, Party Politics, in 1992.

The 12-year-old will be the Thompsons' fourth individual National runner after Party Politics (also second in 1995 and a faller in 1996), Roc de Prince (17th in 1992) and Character Building (seventh in 2010 and 15th in 2011).

Mumbles Head has won eight of his 32 races, most recently at Perth in June. He fell at the first fence on his initial try over the Grand National fences in the Becher Chase in December and was pulled up in heavy ground at Haydock later that month, but before that was third over the regular course at Aintree.

"Before those two bad runs his form was rock solid," said Bowen.

Bookmaker Sky Bet quote Always Waining and Mumbles Head at 40/1 and 150/1 respectively for the 2013 Grand National.

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2013 Grand National runners - Always Waining seeks Aintree four-timer

Trainer Peter Bowen has three horses among the possible runners for the 2013 Aintree Grand National and plans to run two of them, Always Waining and Mumbles Head.

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