Definitly Red Set For Kelso Appearance
Such a shame that the Malcolm Jefferson Memorial chase has just the two runners, deserves better. #DefinitlyRed will pick up just under 16k for what will amount to a schooling session. Not bad work if you can get it. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/OtKErDiJp7
— Rob Chadwick (@RobChadwick8) 13 February 2019
Definitly Red is set to feature in his final prep run for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National tomorrow afternoon at Kelso in the William Hill Premier Chase.
Brian Ellison’s runner also has an entry in the 888sport Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster, a race which is generally considered as a trial for the marathon contest at Aintree.
Ellison, however, thinks the Listed race at the Scottish course could be a better option for his talented chaser.
He said: “At the moment I’m thinking Kelso. We know it’s going to be heavy at Kelso but I don’t think there will be many runners. He’s in great form and I’m really happy with him. It’s all geared to the National.”
Second shot at Grand National
Definitly Red will be having his second shot at the Grand National this year, if he lines up in the 40-runner field. He went off at 10/1 in the betting for the race in 2017 but was pulled up at the ninth fence.
A mistake at Becher’s (6th fence) really ruined his chances of success over the bigger fences at Aintree in the race which was won by One For Arthur.
Since that disappointing run, Definitly Red has won three Grade Two chases, including the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in 2018.
The bookmakers make the 11-year-old a 25/1* shot for the Grand National this year. He has been assigned 10st-10lb this time by the handicapper, 2lb less than he had on his back on his debut three years ago.
Solid run in Becher Chase
Definitly Red gained more experience over the Grand National fences on his penultimate outing in the Becher Handicap Chase, where he finished fourth of 18 runners.
Ellison’s chaser was held up by jockey Henry Brooke in the early stages of the race at Aintree. He stayed on inside the final furlong to pick up fourth place behind Walk In The Mill, Kimberlite Candy and Alpha Des Obeaux respectively.
The three horses which were ahead of him are all likely to appear in the Grand National so Definitly Red will have the opportunity to reverse the form with them over a more favourable weight this time.
Although he was unable to taste success, Ellison will be pleased that Definitly Red was able to get around the course. The Malton-based trained has described the horse as the best he has ever trained although if he is able to come out on top at Aintree it will be by far the biggest win of his career.
Second in Peter Marsh Chase
The 156-rated horse made his first start in 2020 in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock last month when he finished second in a solid appearance behind Vintage Clouds at the Lancashire course.
As he is usually ridden, Definitly Red was at the rear end of the 10-runner field in the opening stages but went second after the last fence but was unable to reel in Vintage Clouds, who scored by seven lengths.
Kelso will most likely bring up his final run before Aintree as he does not have any entries at the Cheltenham Festival this year.
*Odds subject to change.