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‘All systems go’ for Noble Yeats’ National defence.

Emmet Mullins has confirmed that Noble Yeats is well on his way for his bid for back-to-back victories in the Randox Grand National next month.

On what turned out to be the amateur rider’s final race, the eight-year-old carried Sam Waley-Cohen to a famous victory in the Aintree spectacular last season.

With victories at Wexford and Aintree, Noble Yeats finished third in the Cotswold Chase, and he finished fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, behind Galopin Des Champs.

Mullins is looking forward to seeing his stable star return to Merseyside on April 15 to defend his Grand National title. He reports that his star has taken those efforts in stride.

“Noble Yeats looks great and if he hadn’t run in the Gold Cup last week I’d be saying I’d have to work him this week, so it is all systems go for the National,” said the trainer.

“It will be a mammoth task to carry that weight (11st 11lb), but at least we know he’ll take to the course and stay the trip, so those are two big ticks.”

Corbetts Cross, another Mullins prisoner who performed admirably in defeat at the Cheltenham Festival, ran out in the final flight of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle despite being given a significant challenge.

The six-year-old owned by JP McManus, who had won on each of his previous three runs, may now be ready for a break.

Mullins added: “It was one of those things with Corbetts Cross and we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

“I’m not sure if we’ll see him again this year as he’s had a funny time since I’ve had him. I ran him at Naas not knowing whether I’d be going to Cheltenham or not and then it nearly came off, but we are in a different position now and will gather our thoughts and reassess him.”

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