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National hero Rule The World 'in some form' and ready for Punchestown

Crabbie's Grand National hero Rule The World is set to make a swift return to action in the Growise Champion Novice Chase at next week's Punchestown Festival.

The Mouse Morris-trained nine-year-old was remarkably winning his first ever race over fences at the 14th attempt in the world's most famous steeplechase.

As a result he has the option of switching back to novice company until the Irish season comes to an end and Morris intends to do just that, with his pride and joy reportedly in rude health.

"It's looking likely he'll run in Punchestown. He came back from Aintree in great form, so as long as he's all right between now and then we'll let him take his chance," said Morris.

"It's his last chance to run as a novice - he won't be a novice the week after - so we might as well give it a go as he's in some form at the moment.

"I think the year Mr Frisk won the National (1990) he came out and won the Whitbread (bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown) a few weeks later.

"If it doesn't happen it doesn't happen, but he ran some good races in novice company earlier in the year. He was second to No More Heroes over Christmas and he was a hell of a horse.

" If there was any doubt we wouldn't even be thinking about it."

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From Belfast Telegraph