Fringe chasing famous double
On The Fringe is reported to be in fine shape as he bids to complete the big hunter chase double at Aintree on Thursday.
The 10-year-old turned Cheltenham's Foxhunter Chase into a procession as he romped to a 17-length victory and connections will be hoping for more of the same in the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase over the Grand National fences.
"He's come out of the race at Cheltenham well, and he'll love the track and love the fences," said trainer Enda Bolger.
"There will be 30 runners so you'll need a lot of luck, but he's going there with a good chance."
Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, is also hoping fortune smiles on their horse against so much opposition.
"He is in good form and has come out of the race at Cheltenham very well," he said.
"Enda's very happy with him. It's a big field so we'll need a bit of luck for sure.
"Hopefully Cheltenham didn't take too much out of him."
Warne won the race last year but was then beaten 22 lengths when third to On The Fringe at Punchestown in early May.
He only returned to competitive action when successful in a point-to-point last month.
Not surprisingly, his trainer Brian Hamilton expects On The Fringe to be a tough nut to crack.
"He's back for more. He hasn't had the same run through this year. He's not had the same preparation, but I think he's well there at the minute," said the County Down handler.
"He'll need to be on his game to beat On The Fringe, never mind the other horses.
"When the proper On The Fringe turns up, he's very hard to beat. The only thing we seem to have going for us is that he handles the track well.
"We're hoping that will be a plus, but he will need to be at his best. The preparation hasn't gone as smoothly, but at least we're heading in the right direction and his work is back to what it was before he won the race last year. Everything is OK with him at the minute."