2013 Grand National runners - Sue Smith aiming Auroras Encore and Mr Moonshine

Jon Wilde in Grand National 28 Mar 2013
Mr Moonshine and Henry Oliver pictured winning at Huntingdon (credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Trainer Sue Smith is hoping the weather warms up to allow her to run two horses in the 2013 Grand National at Aintree on April 6.

The closest finisher saddled by the Yorkshire trainer so far in the world’s greatest steeplechase was The Last Fling, who was seventh in 2000, but preparations for her attempts to improve on that record have been hindered by heavy snowfall.

The unseasonal conditions effectively cut off her yard on the outskirts of Bingley and are affecting the preparations of Grand National hopefuls Auroras Encore and Mr Moonshine.

"I know it's a bit of a cliche but I’ve never seen weather like it," Smith told sportinglife.com. “I took a few horses to Wetherby on Wednesday and could hardly believe my eyes - they'd had some snow too but the grass was still green. Where we are, we've still got drifts that are six feet high.

"Thankfully we've a large indoor school and we've been able to keep things ticking over, but it's just been that kind of winter - on and off for months.

"The plan is to run both Auroras Encore and Mr Moonshine if they get in. Ryan Mania will ride one of them, but we'll have to see who is available for the other and talk to the owners of both horses.

"Auroras Encore is probably the more guaranteed to stay of the two, but Mr Moonshine has a bit of class. It's been a tough season for him with the ground the way it has been, but he showed what he can do when he was second in the Rowland Meyrick Chase.

"If he stays the trip and takes to the fences I wouldn't rule him out, but Auroras Encore could go well too if things go right for him. He was second in the Scottish National off a higher mark less than a year ago.”

Bookmaker Bet365 quote Mr Moonshine and Auroras Encore at 80/1 and 100/1 respectively for the 2013 Grand National.


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2013 Grand National runners - Sue Smith aiming Auroras Encore and Mr Moonshine

Trainer Sue Smith is hoping the weather warms up to allow her to run two horses in the 2013 Grand National at Aintree on April 6.

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