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MENDIP EXPRESS may only be a novice, but trainer Harry Fry is confident he can produce the goods on Coral Scottish Grand National day.

New kid on the block Fry's contender is set to run off an attractive 10st 7lb in the 4m1/2f contest and is vying for favouritism as a result, but all that could change if the topweight Tidal Bay defects.

Should that happen, the weights would lump up by 19lb, but even if that happens Fry believes his beast can make the 16-hour round trip from Dorset a profitable one.

Fry said: "I'd be delighted if it stayed as it is, as less weight over that trip is a big plus. If Mendip Express does end up carrying joint-top weight, he's big and strong enough to carry it. But the race will certainly change if Tidal Bay does come out."

Noel Fehily will partner Mendip Express, who has been deposed in recent days as market leader.

The lightly raced eight-yearold ran up a hat-trick in his first three chase starts but has not been seen out since finishing a distant third to Smad Place over three miles in February.

Fry has reassess that run in light of the subsequent exploits of his Newbury conqueror at Cheltenham last month.

"He had a good break after Newbury," the trainer added, "which was disappointing at the time but, with the way Smad Place (btn a nk) ran in the RSA and given the testing conditions, possibly not."

Coral: 8 Green Flag, Sam Winner, 10 Mendip Express, Roalco De Farges, 14 Trustan Times, Godsmejudge, 16 Edmund Kean, Lie Forrit, Merry King, Nuts N Bolts, Yes Tom, 20 Alpha Victor, Hadrian's Approach, Lackamon, Midnight Appeal, Rigadin De Beauchene, Roberto Goldback, Storm Survivor, Tidal Bay, 25 bar.

FESTIVAL THEATRE (7.40) has entries in the Dante and the Derby and with a mark of 85 for his handicap debut there will be long faces, including yours truly, if he does not prove to be a good deal better than that at Kempton tonight.


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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 10, 2014
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