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Nicky Henderson downbeat on prospects of home glory at this year's Grand National

Nicky Henderson is predicting an uphill task for the British in the Grand National, with just seven home hopes currently guaranteed to make the cut for the iconic race, which will take place in April.

Victory for Lucinda Russell’s Corach Rambler last year was the first for UK-based trainers since the Kinross handler struck with One For Arthur in 2017.

And with Irish raiders dominating both the recent roll of honour and this season’s ante-post betting, it is easy to envisage the trophy heading across to the Emerald Isle once more.

Henderson has three entries for this year’s race but only 150-rated Dusart is presently set to make the final line-up, with the Seven Barrows trio all available at odds of 100-1.

Fantastic Lady and last year’s eighth Mister Coffey are Henderson’s other two runners, but he hinted that he may not be represented in this year’s race and was clear about what he thought of the home team’s chances when asked about the current make-up.

“We’re not going to win it are we – and I’m not, because I haven’t got one in it,” he said.

“There’s nothing I can do about it and I’ve been trying to win it for 42 years, so I can tell you something about it, but that’s probably how not to win it.”

Leading Irish duo Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are responsible for over half of the current top 40 in the National, but Henderson is not in favour of limiting the number of runners each trainer or owner can have in the race – something which the British Horseracing Authority were considering for major handicaps earlier in the season.

“That was crazy,” he added. “I wouldn’t agree with that unless they said Henderson is the only one who can have a runner!”

Henderson is currently putting the finishing touches to his Seven Barrows string ahead of the Cheltenham Festival and believes he is in the fortunate position of having not only a talented bunch of horses at his disposal, but a loyal and supportive network of owners.

“We’ve been very lucky and I have the best bunch of owners anyone can wish for,” he added.

“They are all great guys and great mates and great people.

“We have to enjoy it and that’s our game, this is an entertainment hobby sort of thing – it’s their hobby and I have to make it entertaining.”

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