Colin Tizzard trainer of The Dutchman
©Healy Racing Photos
The Dutchman could put his Aintree credentials on the line in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday.
The eight-year-old, trained by Colin Tizzard, emerged as a contender for the Randox Health-sponsored National when running out a convincing winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at the Merseyside venue last month.
Connections are keen to get another run into The Dutchman before the big day in April, with the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle on February 24th the other option.
"We're going to confirm him and have a look at it. He'll also have an entry in the Eider at Newcastle," Tizzard's son and assistant, Joe, told At The Races.
"He's our leading Grand National hope. He got hammered by the handicapper and got put up 13lb for it, but he was impressive at Haydock.
"We're going to chat to his owner in the next couple of days and see what we are going to do, whether we go this weekend or not.
"From our point of view it looks like he's got Grand National written all over him, but he's only a second-season chaser and we've got to make decisions.
"He's got to have a run, so he will either run on Saturday or go up to Newcastle."