WETHERBY winner Lake View Lad will feature in the Randox Health Grand National when entries for the world’s greatest steeplechase close today.
Trainer Nick Alexander says the horse remains on course for April’s marathon at Aintree after winning the Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day.
The victory saw North Yorkshire jockey Henry Brooke become the first rider to win three consecutive renewals of the Rowland Meyrick following the wins of Definitly Red (2016) and Get On The Jager (2017).
The success followed Lake View Lad’s win in Newcastle’s Rehearsal Chase in the colours of legendary owner Trevor Hemmings, who already has three National wins to his name.
“Lake View Lad is in good form and we would like to run him soon, but we have been waiting for the wet weather to arrive,” reported Alexander, who trains in Scotland.
“It was brilliant to win the Rowland Meyrick and the Rehearsal Chase – a wonderful month – and I was delighted with both of his performances. He is a horse who enjoys soft ground, and heavy is also ideal for him.
“Lake View Lad will be entered in the Grand National. He is a very good jumper. We won’t know if he stays four and a quarter miles for the National until he tries it, I don’t suppose.”
Hemmings is also likely to be represented in the National by the Sue and Harvey Smith-trained Vintage Clouds as the High Eldwick stable attempts to replicate the unforgettable success of Auroras Encore in 2013.
Entries close at noon today with the list of runners due to be published tomorrow.
However, the complexion of the race will become clearer on February 12 when the weights for the National are published. Only the top 40 in the handicap will make the cut.
Last year’s winner Tiger Roll is the current ante-post favourite. If Gordon Elliott’s stable star is successful again on April 6 he would become the first horse to register back-to-back victories since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.