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Aintree hope Big Fella is sold; New colours for Murphy gelding.


BIG FELLA THANKS is set to run in new colours in the John Smith's Grand National after owner Harry Findlay sold him to the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

The Ferdy Murphy-trained nine-year-old was fourth in Aintree marathon last year, when in the care of Paul Nicholls.

Findlay, who part-owned 2008 Gold Cup hero Denman, severed all ties with the champion trainer last summer and reduced his involvement in racing after he felt he was harshly treated by the British Horseracing Authority.

Findlay was warned off for six months in connection with laying his own horse, the Nicholls-trained Gullible Gordon, on two occasions.

Despite having his disqualification overturned upon appeal, Findlay was angry over his treatment by the BHA.

Big Fella Thanks, who is a best-priced 16-1 with sportingbet, was at Aintree for a racecourse gallop on Tuesday and will now return there and run in the blue silks of the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

Murphy said: "Harry has decided to sell the horse now as it has been well documented he wants out of racing.

"He obviously decided to keep a few in training for this season, but he had Beshabar run a blinder in the four-miler (National Hunt Chase) at Cheltenham last week and he said it was very difficult viewing for him.

"He had mixed emotions as he feels he has been very badly treated by the BHA and he doesn't think he'll be able to go through all of that again at Aintree.

"Once Harry made the decision to sell the horse, we had a bit of time to try and find a new owner and thankfully we've found some people that were already with the yard to take him.

"There were actually a few other offers from outside, and one of them was quite a bit bigger than the one Harry has taken, but he is a man of his word and he wanted the horse to stay with us, which is fantastic.

"He will now run for the Crossed Fingers Partnership at Aintree. They have a few horses with us and they are obviously really looking forward to it.

"Opportunities to have a horse like him to run in the National don't come around too often and, hopefully, he has a great chance."


CHANGE: Big Fella Thanks at Aintree
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2011
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