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Racing: AINTREE'S ANTHEM; Punters score on Anfield roar.

Byline: DAVE MITCHELL

YOU won't win any prizes for guessing which horse the locals are backing for the Martell Grand National on Saturday week.

All Liverpool fans plunged on Youlneverwalkalone yesterday, after the Cheltenham Festival winner was confirmed a definite runner in the greatest show on turf.

"He will run at Aintree if the ground is similar to what it was at Cheltenham," confirmed trainer Christy Roche, a fact made even more likely as watering commenced there yesterday.

"All has gone well with him since Cheltenham and it's nice to go there with a horse who has a great chance."

Former top hurdler Youlneverwalkalone was one of Barry Geraghty's five winners at Cheltenham and the Irishman is expected to be in the plate for Aintree.

Ladbrokes slashed Youlneverwalkalone's price from 20-1 to 14-1, after he was confirmed a runner.

"He has been well-backed over the last ten days," said spokesman Warren Lush.

The horses owner, J P McManus, warmed-up for Aintree last Saturday with a pounds 400,000 to pounds 200,000 bet on Newbury winner Ar Muin Na Muice.

But it's a long run from the last to home at Aintree. As Youlneverwalkalone isn't the strongest finisher in the world, the bookies really fancy getting their money back there.

Ruby Walsh will ride Shotgun Willy and the horse was shortened to 8-1 from 9-1 with Coral. Paul Carberry now looks certain to partner current favourite Ad Hoc.

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YOULNEVERWALKALONE: Confirmed for Aintree
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2003
Words:244
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