Turf Talk: Trainer Snowden keeping one eye on ground conditions – and the other on the Grand National

Trainer, Jamie Snowden. PIC: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Trainer, Jamie Snowden. PIC: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
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JAMIE Snowden has not ruled out letting Fact Of The Matter take his chance in April’s Randox Health Grand National.

After giving the nine-year-old an entry in the Aintree marathon, the trainer could make it a target should he perform well over the cross country fences in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Monbeg Theatre clears the last e on the opening day of the National Hunt Season at Wetherby last October. PIC: Simon Hulme

Monbeg Theatre clears the last e on the opening day of the National Hunt Season at Wetherby last October. PIC: Simon Hulme

Snowden said: “We are definitely on course to go for the cross country chase at next month’s Cheltenham Festival, with possibly a racecourse gallop before then. Depending how it goes at Cheltenham, we might consider the Grand National.

“He is rated 140, but the handicapper frames the weights differently for the Grand National and, as he has won over the cross country fences, that might help his chances.

“He seems to love the cross country fences and you can find if horses take to them, they can improve and it has done with him.”

Ground conditions, meanwhile, will dictate which route stablemate Monbeg Theatre takes at the Festival.

He said: “Monbeg Theatre will get an entry in the Pertemps and Coral Cup. If it is dry we will go for the Pertemps and if it is slightly wetter, then he will go for the Coral Cup.

“He has had a wonderful season and the time for him to have won a Graded race would have been the West Yorkshire Hurdle.

“He would have a better chance in a handicap at the Festival. He is still a novice over fences and that will be something to think about next season. He didn’t take to it before, but now he is older he might.”

n The JP McManus-owned pair of Anibale Fly and Edwulf could clash in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park after both were late withdrawals from Sunday’s Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

LUDLOW: 1.40 Chambard, 2.10 Style De Garde (treble), 2.45 Bonza Girl, 3.15 Tommy Silver, 3.45 Miranda, 4.20 Road To Rome, 4.50 Morning Vicar.

AYR: 1.30 Magic Of Milan, 2.00 GALVIN (NAP), 2.35 Glittering Love, 3.05 Pat’s Oscar, 3.35 Effet Special, 4.10 McGinty’s Dream, 4.40 Arion Sky.

KEMPTON: 1.50 Sir Ox, 2.20 Tavus, 2.50 Lulu Star, 3.25 Technological, 4.00 Roman Spinner, 4.30 Casa Comigo.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.10 Madame Vitesse, 5.45 Phoenix Star (next best), 6.15 True Destiny, 6.45 Areen Heart, 7.15 Sea Shack, 7.45 Sheberghan, 8.15 Royal Mezhan.