Grand Sefton shaping up well

Fri 7th Dec 2012, 14:49
Tranquil Sea runs over the National fences
Tranquil Sea runs over the National fences
(Healy Racing Photos)
Nacarat will try to make it second-time lucky over the National fences as he lines up in the Betfred "Goals Galore" Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree.

The 11-year-old ran in the Topham Chase over the famous obstacles in 2008 but got no further than the sixth fence when his exuberant jumping proved his undoing.

Trainer Tom George has not repeated the experiment since but Nacarat, winner of the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton in February, enjoyed arguably his finest hour at Aintree when winning the Grade One Betfred Bowl over the regulation fences in 2011.

Nacarat failed to sparkle when only sixth on his return in the Old Roan Chase in October and while the soft ground is not ideal, George believes his charge may be able to operate in the prevailing conditions.

"I think he will love the fences. He's been there once before and it didn't really go to plan as he was a faller," he said.

"I think both the jockey (Tony Dobbin) and the horse got a bit overexcited that day and he should be a lot wiser now.

"The ground wouldn't be ideal but it should be wet, fresh ground which he can jump out of, just not sticky ground, so I don't think it will be as big a problem as some people think."

Aidan Coleman won the race aboard Stewarts House last year and he will get the leg up on the Venetia Williams-trained Carrickboy this time.

He finished fourth on his return at Ascot last month and Coleman is hoping Carrickboy will respond to the challenge of the National fences.

He told his Racing UK blog: "He ran a decent race to come fourth on his seasonal debut at Ascot a couple of weeks ago over three miles. He got a bit tired that day and this trip of two miles, five and a half furlongs around a fast track like Aintree will be his optimum.

"He is a much easier horse to train this year. If he takes to the fences and copes with the ground, which might be a fraction soft for him, I think he has a big chance."

Grade One winner Tranquil Sea is an interesting contender for Edward O'Grady adds a real touch of class, while Gansey hit the bar in a Listed event at Wetherby last time.

Chance Du Roy, Little Josh, Rebel Du Maquis, Rio Gael, Blackstaff and Cerium complete the 10-strong field.

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