Turf Talk: Definitly Red to be tested over ‘Grand National’ fences

Definitly Red ridden by Richard Johnson in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Race.
Definitly Red ridden by Richard Johnson in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Race.
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Brian Ellison will consider running Definitly Red in the Randox Health Grand National if his smart chaser shows a liking for the unique obstacles.

The North Yorkshire trainer is to test the eight-year-old over some National-type fences he is having specially built on his gallops.

Ellison is giving his Rowland Meyrick Chase winner an easy time following an unlucky run in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.

He looked like staying on for a place behind the impressive winner Bristol De Mai when he was badly hampered three out, causing Henry Brooke to be unseated.

“I think he’d have finished second,” said Ellison.

“He was starting to stay on again but he had made that mistake down the back. He was also hating the ground. He came out of it well and we’ve given him a couple of easy weeks.

“We’re going to go with him again in early March with a view to whether we go to the Grand National or not. He might go either to Kelso or for the Grimthorpe (at Doncaster).

“It depends on how he schools over the fences. We’re going to have some National-style fences built up in a couple of weeks’ time. If he takes to them well, then he might run at Aintree.”

l Bristol De Mai will put his Gold Cup credentials on the line in the Betfair Denman Chase on Saturday week.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey was catapulted into the reckoning for the blue riband event when he waltzed clear in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager for his owners, said: “The decision was made to go to the Denman.

“We hope to use that as a springboard into the Gold Cup. Newbury also gives us an extra week to freshen him up for the Festival.

“Also, Thistlecrack was beaten on Saturday. Make no mistake, he is still the one everybody has to beat.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

HEREFORD: 1.30 Quids In, 2.00 Ma Du Fou, 2.30 Cash Again, 3.00 Querry Horse, 3.30 Kaki De La Pree, 4.00 Sam Cavallaro, 4.30 Cogburn.

KEMPTON: 2.20 Beauchamp Opal, 2.50 William Sayle, 3.20 Envisaging, 3.50 GARTER (NAP), 4.20 Lexington Times, 4.50 Zabeel Star, 5.20 Thomas Blossom.

LEICESTER: 2.10 Ballinvarrig, 2.40 Paddocks Lounge, 3.10 Druid’s Folly (next best), 3.40 Some Are Lucky, 4.10 Reigning Supreme, 4.40 Early Retirement.

NEWCASTLE: 4.25 Go George Go, 5.00 Bloomin Lovely, 5.30 Zandradee, 6.00 Vatican Hill, 6.30 Mehdi, 7.00 Palenville.

Churchill, ridden by Ryan Moore to win the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas in May this year. PIC: PA Wire

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