Aintree to Allow French and Irish Horses On Course

According to a Monday release from Aintree Racecourse, six horses from Ireland and four from France are scheduled to travel to England for the weekend race meet. A number of them are pointed at Saturday's running of the £500,000 Martell Grand National. Originally only horses based in England would be permitted to travel to Aintree for the races due to the hoof and mouth outbreak. Papillon, who won the race last year, is among the Irish-based horses reportedly headed to Aintree.

The trainers involved were required to apply by Monday to the Irish ministry of Agriculture for permits to travel. Papillon, plus Delgany Royal, Hollybank Buck, Inis Cara, Merry People, and Rathbawn Prince are scheduled to be transported Thursday.

"We have been liaising closely with Irish trainers and the Irish Ministry of Agriculture and we are really pleased to have some Irish representation at the Martell Grand National Meeting," said Aintree's managing director Charles Barnett. "I would like to thank the Irish government for its cooperation which is very much appreciated."

Aintree has offered stabling at the course after the three-day Martell Grand National Meeting, run April 5, 6, and 7, as well as accommodation for stable staff.

French trainer Francois Doumen is also scheduled to bring runners to the meet. According to the release, Doumen is scheduled to transport Baracouda, Bilboa, Bounce Back, and Djeddah to the track Tuesday. Djeddah is slated for the Grand National. The French horses are being stabled at Haydock Park Racecourse.