David Pipe looks ahead to the Grand National
AS THIS weekend is pretty quiet on the jumping front, it’s a good opportunity to look ahead to next Saturday’s Grand National.
It’s a race we won back in 2008 with Comply Or Die and I’d obviously love to win it again.
I don’t remember that day much as it remains a bit of a blur.
I’m sure if I was lucky enough to win it a second time, I’d enjoy the moment more.
Looking at this year’s race and the one we all have to beat is obviously last year’s winner Tiger Roll.
He seems better than ever and he certainly doesn’t have issues with the trip or the fences.
Although he is 9lbs higher than this time 12 months ago, he is actually 8lbs ‘well-in’ after that Cheltenham performance, so he will take some stopping.
At the moment, we plan to run both RAMSES DE TEILLEE and VIEUX LION ROUGE.
Both would ideally like soft ground, so we could do with some more rain over the next week.
We weren't sure if Rames De Teillee was going to get the Welsh National trip, but he seemed to see it out well in the end.
He followed that up with a nice run at Haydock last time out which was also pleasing.
The race fell apart a bit and he was left in front a long way out with four fences still to jump and it's a tough run up the home straight there.
He is only seven, but he just doesn't seem to be fazed by anything and I wouldn't be concerned by the atmosphere for him.
We don't know whether he will definitely get the trip, but plenty of horses will have that question mark against them.
He seems to stay well and has a high cruising speed, so heads to Aintree with a chance if the rain comes.
As for Vieux Lion Rouge, he has probably been over more of these fences than any horse in this year's race! He disappointed in the trial behind Ramses De Teillee at Haydock last time, but we've treated him for ulcers since and he seems in good form.
As everyone knows, he lights up over the Grand National fences and the only niggling worry with him is the trip.
He has a great track record and I'm hoping that treating his ulcers may just help him get home.
The fact he is a year older now at 10 and he's getting a bit slower, might help him stay further too.
As for this weekend’s runners, keep an eye out for LEGAL HISTORY in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2.45pm) at Ascot on Sunday.
He ran a cracker last Saturday and the drop back to two miles should help him here.