Yala Enki is now the intended ride for Bryony Frost in the 2020 Grand National. They could be seen next contesting the Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 15th, as Paul Nicholls builds him up slowly and surely towards the big race.
Formerly trained by Venetia Williams, the ten-year-old finished third for a second successive year behind Potters Corner in the Welsh Grand National over the Christmas break.
He was last seen improving upon that run by taking the rather competitive Weatherbys Portman Cup Chase, a 3m 4½f race, in heavy conditions at Taunton last month.
Paul Nicholls recently said of Yala Enki: “He won’t go to the Eider Chase and if I decide to run him before the Grand National it will be something like the race at Kelso at the end of the month.
“He was brilliant at Taunton. It was quick enough after the hard race in the Welsh National. I want to go to Aintree with him if the owner is happy and we have to plan back from that.
“I think he could be a great horse to go to Aintree with.”
Yala Enki won the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park in 2018 when trained by Venetia Williams and ran fifth in it last season. Williams then saddled the gelding to finish seventh in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before he was moved to Paul Nicholls over the summer. When arriving at Ditcheat he was given a wind operation.
Bryony Frost 2020 Grand National
Speaking in her Jockey Club blog just a few days ago, Bryony Frost said: “Yala Enki is another fine string to my bow. I’m very lucky to be partnered up with him and I love the way that he wears his heart on his sleeve.
“He’s a front runner, a bold jumper, a staying chaser – they’re just epic to be with when you’re out there. He won a couple of weeks ago at Taunton really impressively.
“April is a long way off in the world we live in but he’s everything a Grand National horses should be.
“Everybody dreams to have a National horse and, for me, if I’m partnered with him, if I get there in one piece and so does he and if we get down to the start and we line up that’ll be a pretty mega place to be.”
Frost’s father, Jimmy, won the Grand National on Little Polveir in 1989 and his daughter is a general 33/1 chance to following his footsteps aboard Yala Enki.
Time To Roll
Tiger Roll is all set to make his seasonal reappearance in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan on February 16th after resuming a full training regime following his small injury setback. The dual Grand National winner had surgery to remove a chip from a joint in November.
In March Tiger Roll will be chasing down a fifth Cheltenham Festival win. That is before he attempts to join Red Rum in the history books with a third Grand National victory on April 4th.
During the recent Dublin Racing Festival, Gordon Elliott said: “He did his first bit of work on Saturday after his setback and he worked well. He’ll work again during the week.
“My plan is to run on Sunday week in the Boyne Hurdle. He won’t be as fit as he was last year and will come on a lot for the run, but it will be a lovely stepping stone to the cross-country at Cheltenham.
“He missed a month, so he’s by no means as fit as he was when he won it last year. Hopefully it will put him spot on for Cheltenham.”
Tiger Roll is quoted as a 5/1 shot by most bookmakers to etch his name in the annals of Aintree time.