Friday, 1 March 2013

Aintree hopefuls on trial this weekend

The anticipation for this years Cheltenham Festival will soon reach fever pitch with the Festival only 11 days away but this weekends action will have more relevance on Aintree with several leading Grand National contenders putting there credentials on the line at Newbury, Doncaster and the very progressive Scottish racecourse Kelso this weekend.

2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs will complete his 2013 Grand National preparations at Kelso tomorrow in there Totesport Premier Chase and if he can run into place connections will be delighted as he will face some classy opposition in the shape of  Harry Topper who trainer Kim Bailey has said could be the best horse he has trained since Master Oats his 1995 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. Bold Sir Brian who took a crashing fall at the last at Cheltenham last time out and lets hope that Lucinda Russell's talented 7 year old can resume the progress he showed before Christmas when a easy winner at Sandown and slamming Cheltenham hopeful Rival D'Estruval at Carlisle.

Big Fella Thanks a past winner of the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury bids to follow up his success in the race in 2010 and the 11 year old who missed the entire 2011/12 season has looked as good as ever this season especially when a comftable winner under a big weight at Wincanton last time out. He is being considered for either a 4th crack at the Grand National or the Topham Chase at Aintree.

Doncaster stage there final NH card of the season with the highlight the £50,000 Grimthorpe Chase that has emerged in recent seasons as a popular Grand National trial and Paul Nicholls is set to run his leading Grand National contender Join Together who came agonisingly close to winning the Becher Chase over the big fences back in November and a win here will cement his place towards the head of the market for this years Aintree spectacular.

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