The Last Samuri could be heading to Wetherby

KIM Bailey's Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri could get his season under way in the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

The Last Samuri, ridden by David Bass, clears a fence on its way to winning the BetBright Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster (Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire).

Bailey won the Grade Two contest in 2013 with Harry Topper and is considering sending the eight-year-old north for his initial outing.

Another option is to return to Aintree for the Becher Chase.

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“So far I’m very happy with him,” said Bailey. “It’s hard to find suitable races. The most obvious ones are going to be the Charlie Hall and the Becher Chase.

“I hate coming second, but it was a great run in the National.”

Harry Topper missed the whole of last season and has not been seen since February 2015. He may have the Welsh National as a target.

“It was the wettest winter we had for ages so it was unfortunate,” said Bailey about the mud-lover. “He’ll have a new jockey in David Bass and hopefully he’ll get to something like the Welsh National.”

Kevin Ryan believes conditions are likely to favour The Grey Gatsby in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10.

The five-year-old needs fast ground to perform at his best and the going was yielding when he was sixth to Golden Horn in the 10-furlong showpiece last season.

The Grey Gatsby’s last victory came in the Irish Champion two years ago when he got the better of Australia.

Since then, he has been a regular at the top level without quite getting his head in front.

His latest effort came in the Juddmonte International when he was sixth to Postponed.

“He’s come out of his race at York really well,” said Hambleton-based Ryan, who confirmed that the horse’s swansong before retirement is likely to be the Breeders Cup in America.