It’s all go for Lake View Lad as he now heads straight to Aintree for the 2020 Grand National. Lake View Lad is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has already won the Grand National three times. Those wins came from Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015. Can he do it again in 2020?

Lake View Lad is one of three Hemmings entries this year alongside Vintage Clouds and Warriors Tale. All three have previously run in the Grand National with no success. Warriors Tale has pulled-up twice, Vintage Clouds fell at the first last year and Lake View Lad pulled up when he was hampered at fence 21.

So what are his chances this time around?

Grand National Chance

Last year was a learning curve for Lake View Lad. He was actually running reasonably well, in the middle of the field when he was hampered by a faller. However the ground also didn’t suit him. It was good to soft, soft in places and the chaser usually prefers a softer surface. So if it rains a lot this year, keep Lake View Lad in mind as one who would relish the muddier course.

He was due to take his chances at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival but connections have now ruled that out. Trained by Nick Alexander, he said: “He’s fine, but he had a small sinus issue. He’d have probably run in the Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday if it hadn’t been for that, which is a bit annoying.

“He’s in at Cheltenham (in the Ultima Handicap Chase), but I think we’ll go straight to Aintree with him.”

The setback is a small one with the trainer adding that the sinus issue should clear up very quickly.

He added “He’s back in work, anyway. It was just a small hold-up.

“We might take him away for a gallop at some point. He ran a month ago at Kelso over hurdles, so I’m quite happy with that.”

Current Form

Despite the sinus issue, Lake View Lad has been on reasonably good form this season. He started out with a trip to Newcastle and finished fifth. Next up was Wetherby which was an improved performance on soft ground that saw him run in third place. Then it was on to Kelso for a trip over hurdles and again he was third.

That said, this year’s prep for the Grand National was exactly the same as last season. The exception being that he won both of his races at Newcastle and Wetherby and he hasn’t this time around.

He also hasn’t stepped up in trip much or targeted even one long-distance chase, though the Ultima was on the cards, so it’s not for the lack of trying. A run there would have at least cleared up whether or not he has the stamina for the Grand National course.

If he can get around the course unimpeded, he could be in with a good chance. His record is impressive with 12 wins or places from 15 chase starts. He has never unseated his jockey and other than a couple of blips at the very beginning of his racing career has never fallen.

He will carry 7lbs less this year and odds of 50/1 are very generous considering he went off at 14/1 last year. One of the few greys entered for the 2020 Grand National, he will definitely have his fans!