Take a Long Run to the National at 25/1
A Gold Cup and two King George triumphs behind him must give Long Run a great chance in this year's Crabbie's Grand National on April 5.
The Nicky Henderson-trained horse has been allocated 11st 9lbs, a more than favourable weight for a runner of his class.
He gets 1lb from top weight Tidal Bay who has been given the same burden as last year before being withdrawn due to injury. Now 13, Tidal ran a solid race behind Last Instalment in the Irish Hennessy last Sunday and trainer Paul Nicholls has quickly taken him out of Cheltenham to concentrate on Aintree.
A significant move which sees the horse at the top of the National betting market.
Henderson also has Newbury Hennessy winner Triolo D'Alene, successful in last year's Topham Trophy over the Aintree fences in contention, but Triolo has the steadier of 11st 6lbs.
The trainer has had two seconds in the race with Zongolero (1979) and The Tsarevich (1987) but nothing much since, except mostly a list of first-fence fallers.
However, he has the right one in Long Run whose Gold Cup days are over.
Don't be surprised if this fellow too gives Cheltenham a miss to wait for this.
The 25/1 currently on offer is well worth taking. Similarly priced, and one who will be hard to keep out of the frame, is last year's third to Auroras Encore, Teaforthree, handled by Rebecca Curtis.
A market has opened on which horse of the many JP McManus entries AP McCoy will ride and it is: 7/4 Colbert Station; 7/2 Sunnyhillboy;4/1 Carlingford Lough; 5/1 Alfie Sherrin; 7/1 Double Seven; 10/1 Cantlow; 33/1 Lost Glory, Quantitiveeasing; Quiscover Fontaine, Storm Survivor. Wyck Hill.
Prolific Ulsterman McCoy, closing in on an incredible 19th successive champion jockey's title, is out to repeat his 2010 triumph on board the McManus-owned Don't Push It.