Trainer Nicky Richards is aiming to emulate his late father Gordon, who sent out Lucius (1978) and Hallo Dandy (1984) to win the Grand National, by saddling his own runner, the 10-year-old Takingrisks.

Last season’s Scottish Grand National victor recently won the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and will probably now run in a couple of hurdles races to protect his handicap mark.

“You’d be very hopeful he might run a very good race at Aintree – he’s everything you want in a racehorse” – said Richards.

“The old man loved the race and it’s great to have a horse like him in it.”

Making Up For Missing Time

The Warren Greatrex-trained Missed Approach will be targeted at next April’s Grand National as he nears his comeback after a year on the sidelines.

The 2018 Kim Muir winner has not been seen on a racecourse since he finished in 8th place behind Walk In The Mill in the 2018 renewal of the Becher Chase.

Greatrex intends to have him out on the track by the end of January, saying this week: “Missed Approach is coming along well. He has done plenty of cantering – it has all been very pleasing, and all of his old enthusiasm is still there.

“We will look to find a race at the end of January for him. He won’t run over hurdles – because we tried that before, and he made me look silly – but he could run in a veterans’ chase.

“The Grand National will be the plan, and I hope he can get there. I think he would probably need two runs before the race, given that he has not run for a while.”

Peter Fahey “Preying” For A Change Of Aintree Luck

The prolific Irish race winner Peregrine Run will have his racing calendar completely geared towards running in the Grand National according to his trainer, Peter Fahey. A winner of 16 of his 40 races, the nine-year-old was going well in last year’s Topham Chase over the unique Grand National fences until he took a tumble three from home.

Fahey said: “We are thinking of something in Aintree for Peregrine Run and maybe the Grand National if things go right – but we would have to be sure of nice ground.

“The owner is looking forward to it if it works out. It’s not often that you have one good enough to aim at the race.

“The only time he fell was there last year in the Topham. He jumped away well for Barry (Geraghty) and just made a simple mistake. He took his eye off it after a horse fell in front of him.

“His jumping wouldn’t bother me but the ground would have to be nice for him to get the trip.

“He’s schooled over the National fences at the Curragh and Barry even came down to school him for us.”

Could It Be Magic?

The road back to Aintree is well and truly on for the Jessica Harrington-trained Magic Of Light.  She returned to Newbury again this week to win the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase for a second time. Magic Of Light was the runner-up to Tiger Roll in last year’s Grand National.

Speaking about her future plans, her jockey Robbie Power said: “She won’t be seen until the New Year and she might go back to Ascot for the mares’ hurdle she won last year, but I don’t know.

“She will have a similar sort of route she had to Aintree last year and Aintree will be the main aim again.”

Bookmakers reacted to her facile Newbury victory by cutting her odds from 33/1 to 25/1 for the Aintree showpiece.