The last few days have seen some significant performances by horses being targeted at the Grand National.
Trainer Kim Bailey’s Vinndication is prominent in the betting for Aintree after running a solid race behind Cyrname in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday. The seven-year-old stayed on over three miles against the highest rated chaser in Britain and that effort augers well for his long-range aim.
Also run at the weekend, Ireland’s Down Royal Champion Chase could turn out to be a major trial for Grade 1 races in the future and possibly the National. Presenting Percy is being prepared for Aintree next spring and was fourth in the Champion Chase, six lengths behind the winner The Storyteller off level weights.
Regal Encore won the three miles handicap chase at Ascot, running strongly and keeping on well after the final fence. Walk In The Mill never challenged but the 2019 National fourth behind Tiger Roll was hampered at the start and did make some headway over the last half mile. The most famous steeplechase in the world is again the target.
Minella Indo beat Milan Native by 25 lengths in a Grade 3 chase over two miles and seven furlongs at Wexford. The gelding was agonisingly beaten by the fast-finishing Champ in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March but now enters the Grand National picture with a good profile.
Tiger Roll remains the big-race favourite after a run on the Flat at Navan. Connections are still saying the cross-country race at the Cheltenham festival is the first objective. However, the sport needs Tiger Roll to be given a shot at making history and obviously the two-time winner is proven over the course and distance.