John Smith's Grand National - 14th April 2012 

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State of Play Lines Up for Another National Shot

State Of Play has run just four times in the last three years and three of those runs have all come in the Grand National.

State Of Play

State Of Play

The Evan Williams-trained horse has turned into a Grand National specialist as he has completed the course on all three of his attempts in his career so far. He has attracted plenty of each-way Grand National bets over the years.

The closest State Of Play has come to winning the big race was in 2010 when he finished third, behind winner Don't Push It and Black Apalachi. He has also finished fourth on the two other occasions over the big obstacles at Aintree. Last year he went off at 28/1 to land all each-way money on his shoulders.

At the age of 12, State Of Play is running out of opportunities to win the famous steeplechase and could have his final attempt at the 4m4f contest this year in April.

In a 25-race career, Williams' runner has never fallen and has only once failed to return home, that was in the 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury when Paul Maloney pulled him up in the closing stages as the tough test in a competitive handicap took it out of his mount. The race is more commonly known for the success of Denman, who carried top weight in one of the memorable performances in the career of the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

State Of Play's last victory of any kind came in November 2008 when he won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby at the age of eight. On that occasion he was receiving weight all round and finished ahead of Ollie Magern in his prime and the promising Turko from the Paul Nicholls yard.

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