Like the flick of a switch, we are back into the full National Hunt season. While it may only be November, there is still plenty of chat about potential 2019 Grand National Runners. Trainers and connections are eager to talk about their various charges and their chances. And plans for the next few months are well under way. So who will get the green light for the Aintree showpiece?
2017 hero, One For Arthur, looks set to make his comeback very soon. Lucinda Russell’s nine year old could make his long-awaited return in the Ladbrokes Trophy on December 1st 2018. It has been a very long wait for One For Arthur who sustained a leg injury and has been sidelined since April 2017. Despite this, Bet365 have him at ante-post odds of 25/1 for the 2019 National.
Russell said: “He’s got many options to comeback and this is one of them. I’m not exactly sure where we will take him but it is something we’re thinking about.
“He’s having his first bit of work this weekend and a lot will depend on how he does and how he progresses. He seems good and we’re happy with him.”
The Ladbrokes Trophy has a huge amount of interest this year with 56 entries. The largest contingent comes from Irish trainer Willie Mullins. He has eight in contention including Grand National prospects, Pairofbrowneyes and Rathvinden.
Also hoping to make the cut for Aintree are Scottish National winner Joe Farrell and Relentless Dreamer from trainer Rebecca Curtis.
Curtis said of Joe Farrell: “I’d like to go for the Grand National and if he doesn’t get in that we will go for the Scottish National again, that’s the plan.
“His first couple of races will simply be prep runs ready for a spring campaign again.”
Speaking about Relentless Dreamer she said: “Relentless Dreamer had some good form in some decent handicaps but, after bringing him back in the summer, his bits of work over the past few weeks suggested that he had improved.
“The one race I would love to see him in is the Grand National.
“We wouldn’t want the handicapper to put him up too much in the weights but I think Aintree would really suit him. Hopefully, if we can get him up to that rating, it would be a thrill to get him there.”
Relentless Dreamer is currently 50/1 ante-post with Bet365 for the Grand National.
Paul Nicholls has started off his season with a solid 21 wins so far. With a huge string at his disposal, we expect quite a few Grand National entries from Nicholls. Give Me A Copper has already been ear-marked for the big race. It’s an interesting choice considering he is so lightly raced.
Despite being eight years old, Give Me A Copper has only ran six times in his career and that includes one PTP. He looks set to be back racing after Christmas but will need to do really well if he is to have any hope of getting a National run.