Peter Bowen’s Aintree specialist Always Waining remains on course for a tilt at the John Smith’s Grand National in April.
The 12-year-old, trained in Pembrokeshire, became the first triple winner of the John Smith’s Topham Chase over the famous Grand National fences in 2012, and will attempting to become the first Welsh-trained winner of the John Smith’s Grand National since Kirkland in 1905.
Always Waining captured his first John Smith’s Topham Chase, run over two miles, five and a half furlongs in 2010 when powering clear under Brian Hughes to score by 12 lengths. The son of Unfuwain teamed up with regular rider Tom O’Brien in 2011 and 2012, winning by four lengths and four and half lengths respectively.
He had his first run since April last year in a three-mile handicap chase at Doncaster earlier this week, coming home seventh, and Bowen is now looking to get at least one more run into his charge before the Aintree showpiece, over four miles, three and a half furlongs, for which he is currently set to carry 10st 6lb.
Bowen said: “Always Waining is on course for the John Smith’s Grand National.
“We will definitely be looking to get another run into him before the National and he might even have two runs, but I don’t know where yet.
“I am happy enough with the weight he has been given for the National as he needed that to get in really. You’re always in the dark about whether a horse will get the trip in the National but you have to try, and when he’s won the Topham, he looks as if he could go round again.”
On His Own heads the betting at 9/1 for the National with Prince De Beauchene second best at 10/1 and 14/1 bar.
Opening Batsman (12/1) won the Racig Plus Chase at Kempton on Saturday for the new kid on the block, Harry Fry, and top jockey Noel Fehily.
The winning trainer said: “He’s a horse who is continuing to improve and the ground and track suited him brilliantly.
“I’d never had him better form than today much credit must go to Noel Fehily who crept into the race then gave his mount time to recover from a mistake before getting extra from him.”
l The eye-catcher this week is Joe Davis’s Sweet Like You, second at Chepstow on Saturday to 20/1 chance Sankyouplease, after good support in the betting (8/1 from 14/1). The mare looks sure to be suited by a longer trip when she goes jumping and one to keep on the right side off.
The 4yo is possibly one of the better juveniles around at the moment and looks worth staying with.
Roi Du Mee’s win at Fairyhouse on Saturday has resulted in his odds been slashed to 16/1 from 80/1 for the John Smith’s Grand National with a big run expected in the world’s greatest race.
l My Tent Or Yours has been punted big this week with Bet365 (11/8 from 7/4) for the William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. Nicky Henderson reports the recent Newbury winner in tip-top form.
l At Lingfield Park on Friday the David Evans trained Danziger looks the one to be with in the 3.40 (Class 5) Handicap the in form Adam Kirby takes the ride on the improving 4yo who can land the three timer even with the a 6lb penalty.
Call The Colonel on 07850 602524 for his racing service.