sport

Knock may have hindered Tea chance

Teaforthree may have suffered a knock in the Crabbie's Grand National after the leading contender returned sore after the race.

Rebecca Curtis believes Teaforthree may have suffered a knock in the early stages of Saturday's Crabbie's Grand National after the leading contender returned sore following his exit from the race.

Having finished third in the 2013 renewal of the Aintree marathon, Teaforthree was sent off joint-favourite last weekend but blundered and unseated jockey Nick Scholfield at The Chair with a circuit to run.

Scholfield revealed afterwards his mount was not travelling with the same zest as he had done 12 months earlier and Curtis feels her star chaser may have hurt himself even before he eventually parted company with his rider.

Curtis said: "He was a bit sore after the race. I think he whacked his back legs early on, probably even before he fell.

"That's the National for you, but he's absolutely fine now, we'll give him his summer holidays and hopefully he'll back to have another go next year.

"It's too early to say what the plan will be for next season. We'll plan a route back to Aintree nearer the time."

Teaforthree's stable companion At Fishers Cross was also a beaten favourite on National day, going down by a length to Whisper in the Grade One Silver Cross Stayers' Hurdle.

While it was a creditable effort, the seven-year-old pulled off a shoe and Curtis feels it was detrimental to his chances.

"He came back good, although his foot was a little bit sore where he tore off the shoe," she said.

"He tore it off with a circuit to run and he couldn't get it off, so he was standing on it for the second circuit, which is probably why he was jumping a bit right.

"It's possible he could run at Punchestown. We haven't made a decision yet and we'll just see how he is in the next week or so."