Trainer Sue Smith says Vintage Clouds is in “good order” as preparations continue for a possible shot at the Grand National.
Vintage Clouds just missed the 40-runner cut for last year’s race at Aintree but he is expected to make the mark this time around, form and fitness permitting, due to his handicap mark.
The nine-year-old is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has previously won the National with Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds, while trainer Smith won the 2013 National with Auroras Encore.
An impressive victory at Haydock in November boosted the grey’s chances of National success but connections were left scratching their heads after he was pulled up at Chepstow the following month in the Welsh Grand National.
Smith is not too concerned about that performance, citing ground conditions as the reason for the poor display, and she is feeling positive about the shape of her charge right now.
“He’s very well and he’s in good order,” she told The Yorkshire Post. “He had quite a hard race at Chepstow and we are just freshening him up. He’s a winner round Aintree last season and I think the track will suit him.
“Vintage schooled over the National fences at Malton very well when we took him there last March in case he made last year’s race.
“He’s a very willing horse and likes to do his best for you.” Vintage Clouds is priced at 26.00 to win the Grand National while defending champion Tiger Roll has been installed as the 21.00 joint-favourite alongside Elegant Escape.