Hogan’s Height Bidding For More Success Over Grand National Fences
— David Clough (@DavidBClough) December 7, 2019
Hogan’s Height made his debut over the Grand National fences at Aintree last month in the Virgin Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and continued his excellent record.
Jamie Snowden’s runner seemed to relish the bigger obstacles as he scored by 16 lengths in the 2m5f contest. His nearest rival was three lengths behind him when he jumped the last before he powered home to be clear at the run-in.
The handicapper has raised the nine-year-old gelding 12lb in the weights for his latest win, which was his third in his last four outings. He is now off a career-high mark but remains open to improvement.
Snowden started the season with the Foxhunter in mind as the target for Hogan’s Height. However, his Grand Sefton performance meant he had to change those plans.
He said: “He was always a good jumper and won three novices, but we didn’t think he was very well handicapped, so we thought we would just give him a spin over the fences and come back in April for the Foxhunter.
“He took to them like a duck to water and has gone up to a mark of 146, so should get in the National.”
Grand Sefton winner 25/1* for Grand National
Hogan’s Height was one of the 108 entries for the Grand National at the first stage of declarations last month. He is 25/1* with the bookmakers to win the contest, which will include a maximum field of 40 runners.
Along with Tiger Roll and Walk In The Mill, Hogan’s Height is one of only three horses to have been victorious over the Grand National fences in the last 12 months.
That experience of being successful around the unique course is a big positive with regard to his chances in April.
Hogan’s Height’s connections will find out on Tuesday if their horse has done enough to guarantee a place in the field for the 4m2½f contest. With Native River and Tiger Roll both expected to line up, he is unlikely to have one of the highest allocations in the contest.
Snowden bidding for biggest win of training career
Snowden has been very successful since picking up a trainer’s licence. He has over 200 winners to his name, including a Cheltenham Festival win. If he were to score in the Grand National later this season, it would be by far the biggest win of his career to date.
This season has been the Labourn-based trainer’s best so far. He has surpassed his most winners for a campaign, despite there being three months left to go.
Hogan’s Height is the stable star in Snowden’s yard at the moment. He has trained the horse ever since he arrived in the UK following two starts in point-to-points in Ireland.
The Irish-bred gelding was quite modest over hurdles early in his career although soon improved once he switched to fences. After three straight victories in his novice campaign, he featured in the Grade One Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree, finishing sixth of nine runners.
If he lines up in the Grand National later this season, Hogan’s Height will be Snowden’s first runner in the race.
Given he spent so long working for Nicky Henderson before going it alone, he does have experience of preparing a horse for the marathon contest.
*odds subject to change.