Vintage Clouds to target the Grand National once again

Trevor Hemmings is a three-time Grand National-winning owner, most recently with Many Clouds (pictured) in 2015.
Trevor Hemmings is a three-time Grand National-winning owner, most recently with Many Clouds (pictured) in 2015.

Vintage Clouds will once again have the Grand National as his main target this season, his connections have confirmed. 

The nine-year-old has been rather luckless at Aintree so far, failing to get a run in 2018 despite being a reserve, before falling at the first flight as a well-supported 11/1 chance back in April. 

However, he has shown plenty of ability as a staying chaser away from the National Course, finishing third and sixth respectively in the last two renewals of the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, and finishing a fine second in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival to boot. 

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Trevor Hemmings is the joint-winning most owner in Grand National history, so it is no surprise to see Vintage Clouds aimed at the Grand National once again, and his regular partner Danny Cook confirmed his plans when speaking to the media on Monday.

He said: "The plan is to run him in the Becher Chase in November to get some experience of the fences, before another attempt at the Grand National."

The Becher Chase would be an interesting stage for a reappearance for Vintage Clouds, considering that the three mile, two furlong contest is a key trial for the National - and is one of just five races to take place over the iconic National fences each season.

Vintage Clouds has long been considered to be on an attractive mark for a Grand National tilt, and will begin this season with an official rating of 147 - a mark which is 3 lb higher than for his run in the 2019 renewal. 

As such, it will be interesting to see how he fares in the Becher, which has a proven track record for producing Grand National winners - both Amberleigh House and Silver Birch went on to win the National later in their careers after winning the Becher. 

However, the race tends to require a specialist, and it would be no surprise to see previous winners Walk In The Mill, Blaklion and Vieux Lion Rouge all take their chance in the Aintree trial at the end of November. 

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