Gordon Elliott has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potential Grand National candidates. His duo of Milan Native and Aforementioned both won decent chases in Ireland at the start of October but they do have different targets.
Aforementioned won the Munster National at Limerick and will probably be trained for the Irish National while Milan Native was cut to 40/1 in the UK bookmakers’ Aintree Grand National betting odds for April. Stablemate of both, the legend that is Tiger Roll, remains the favourite at 16/1. Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud is the owner of all three staying chasers.
Milan Native won the Kim Muir handicap chase for amateur riders over three miles and two furlongs at the Cheltenham Festival last season. The seven-year-old beat two horses over two miles and six and a half furlongs at Galway on his first start of the current campaign. Finishing fifth in the beginners chase last November behind Melon and others was decent form.
Even if Milan Native does not run in the National, Elliott and O’Leary should have a major interest in the race in the form of Tiger Roll and the two-time Grand National winner is reported to be in good order. As always the first target is the cross country race at the Cheltenham Festival but the quest to win an historic third National in three renewals is very much on the agenda.
Last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup 100/30 favourite Presenting Percy has moved to the Elliott stable and appears in the National betting at 33/1 with Bet365. He was only eighth at the Festival behind Al Boum Photo and highlighting Presenting Percy’s chances for the National is fraught with danger. However any horse that starts favourite for the showpiece race at Cheltenham should have the class to figure in the National from high in the handicap. The gelding’s move to Elliott from Patrick Kelly has to count as a boost to his chances as well.