Trainer David Pipe happy to wait on weather


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Trainer David Pipe has confirmed he will not confirm the location of Vieux Lion Rouge’s prep run for the Randox Health Grand National until the weather conditions suit.

The nine-year-old is currently entered in the Grand National Trial at Haydock and the Keltbray Swinley Chase at Ascot on Saturday week.

The chestnut gelding finished sixth in last year’s Grand National at Aintree but has failed to impress so far this season.

He finished fourth at Wetherby back in November before missing out on a place at Aintree a month later.

Vieux Lion Rouge chased down the field on both occasions and Pipe will wait for the perfect weather conditions before running him again.

He told reporters: “Vieux Lion Rouge will possibly go back to Haydock for the Grand National Trial which he won last year although he will have an entry in the three-mile Listed handicap chase at Ascot on the same day. We will just see what the weather does.

“He didn’t jump with his usual fluency over the Aintree fences last time and he didn’t run up to his best that day. At least he has got a few pounds off his back.

We will just see what weight he gets for the National next week now.”

Blaklion is the ante-post favourite for the Grand National at odds of 11.00, with Total Recall and Definitly Red available at 17.00.

Vieux Lion Rouge’s recent poor displays means he has drifted and he can be backed to win at odds of 41.00 with Dafabet.

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