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Armagh jockey Brian Hughes hoping for maiden Grand National success with Minella Trump

Champion Jockey Brian Hughes will be hoping Minella Trump can provide him with a first success in the Grand National in 2023. The nine-year-old chaser is one of the horses that is guaranteed a run in the marathon race should his connections decide to take their chance.

Trained by Donald McCain, Minella Trump has been handed a weight allocation of 10st 6lb. He is 37th on the list, meaning he will have one of the lowest weights on his back, which will help his chance of success.

Minella Trump An Outsider In The Betting

Those looking to place a bet on horse racing for the world’s most famous steeplechase can get a price of 50/1 on Hughes’ runner.

It will be the chaser’s first outing since he scored at Perth last June over three miles.

Minella Trump was in excellent form over the last couple of years, something which will encourage the rider from County Armagh. He has been successful in eight of his last nine races over fences. If victorious in Grand National, he will complete a hat-trick on the track.

Another Excellent Year for Hughes

It has been another excellent season so far for Hughes, who is on course for a third consecutive British Jump Jockey Championship. The 2020/21 and 2021/22 Champion Jockey has already ridden well over 100 winners this season, and there is a wide gap between himself and second-placed Sean Bowen in the standings for the 2022/23 campaign.

If he can defend his crowd again this year, Hughes will join only a handful of men who have won three British Jump Jockey Championship titles. Tony McCoy and Richard Johnson are the only other men to have achieved that this side of the century.

As he has done throughout his career, Hughes has dominated the northern courses in Great Britain. The bulk of his wins have come in the north where is always in hot demand, not just with McCain, but for other trainers and owners.

McCain Family Have a Rich Grand National History

Hughes will be fully aware of the Grand National history that the McCain family have. Donald won the race in 2011 with Ballabriggs. His father Ginger was successful four times, with the most famous horse in the history of the steeplechase, Red Rum, winning three times for him. Amberleigh House brought up a fourth success for the legendary trainer in 2004.

Red Rum is the horse that helped put the McCain family on the map. He didn’t just win the Grand National a record three times (1973, 1974 and 1977), but he was also second on two occasions (1975, 1976), helping him to become a household name.

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Red Rum’s first triumph in the Aintree feature. Should Donald win his second Grand National, it will be a fine way to mark that anniversary.

Hughes has plenty of experience around the Grand National Course, so he will know what to expect when he jumps into the saddle on board Minella Trump in Liverpool.

Victory in the race would be the biggest individual success of his career so far. The 2023 Grand National takes place on the 15th of April and the final declarations are 48 hours earlier.

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