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Enthusiastic Bass angling for Rainbow gold at Aintree

By Keith Hamer

David Bass is excited at the prospect of riding The Rainbow Hunter in the Crabbie's Grand National on Saturday week after schooling the Kim Bailey-trained 11-year-old over Aintree-style fences yesterday morning.

Bass reported The Rainbow Hunter full of enthusiasm following the session at Lambourn and the jockey is hoping his mount can put in a clear round after not getting far in the last two Nationals.

"He's been there the last two years and the furthest he's got is Valentine's (ninth fence), so hopefully we can get a bit further," Bass said.

"He's got the right attitude. He hasn't got a lot of weight, so a clear round and we'll see what happens.

"I jumped off him after the gallops (on Monday morning) and he nearly ran away with me.

"I told Kim it was as though he was two or three, he's got so much enthusiasm. The fact he's 11 and he's had a long absence is not going to worry me."

Donald McCain has booked Henry Brooke for Across The Bay and Wilson Renwick for Corrin Wood after Jason Maguire decided to miss the rest of the campaign to give him time to cure a back problem.

Maguire, who gained Aintree glory on Ballabriggs for McCain in 2011, has been struggling with the injury since taking a fall at Catterick last month, but is aiming to be 100 per cent for the start of next season.

McCain is hoping Across The Bay fares better than last year when he was almost carried right off the track by a loose horse when leading the field as they were about to set off on the final circuit.

"He's been so unlucky, it's not true," the Cheshire trainer lamented.

"He was running a good race at the Cheltenham Festival (in the Kim Muir) when he got brought down last time. He's in good order."

Corrin Wood is now pleasing McCain after pulling muscles at Haydock in January.

Rocky Creek and Unioniste will head Paul Nicholls' four-strong team, supported by Royal Rebellion and Mon Parrain.

The Ditcheat handler has, however, yet to make a final decision on his two other entries, Sam Winner and Benvolio.

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