Lake View Lad likely to miss Cheltenham Festival
Lake View Lad is likely to head straight to Aintree’s Randox Health Grand National instead of appearing at the Cheltenham Festival next month as he has been recovering from a sinus problem.
His trainer Nick Alexander has revealed the horse’s workload has been reduced over the last couple of weeks due to the problem.
He said: “He’s fine, but he had a small sinus issue – he he’d have probably run in the Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday if it hadn’t been for that, which is a bit annoying.
“He’s in at Cheltenham (in the Ultima Handicap Chase), but I think we’ll go straight to Aintree with him.
“It should clear up very quickly. He’s back in work, anyway. It was just a small hold-up.
“We might take him away for a gallop at some point. He ran a month ago at Kelso over hurdles, so I’m quite happy with that.”
Lake View Lad ran in the Ultima Handicap Chase last year where he was only 3¼ lengths away from the winner, Beware The Bear, when he came back in third place. A second attempt at the race on the opening day at the Festival may have to wait for another year.
Second shot at Grand National
This season will be Lake View Lad’s second appearance in the Grand National. He went off at 14/1 in the 2019 edition but was pulled up four out.
It has been a modest campaign so far for the Scottish-trained horse as he has yet to prevail in three starts.
The 10-year-old was third in the Grade Three Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby back on Boxing Day – a race he won in 2018. A month later, he appeared over hurdles at Kelso where he finished third of six.
Lake View Lad is as short as 33/1 in the Grand National betting this year, as he looks to become the second horse based in Scotland to win the steeplechase in the last four years after One For Arthur.
The talented grey will wear the silks of Trevor Hemmings, who won the Grand National in 2005, 2011 and 2015. If his latest star is able to come out on top, Hemmings will hold the record outright for the most wins in the race as an owner.
Connections hoping for rain before Aintree feature
One of the issues for Lake View Lad in 2019 was the ground at Aintree. The chaser relishes testing conditions and not enough rain fell in time for the race last year.
Connections will be hoping there is a spell of rain in Liverpool like we had in February, which will increase their runner’s chance of victory in the 4m2½f contest.
Four of Lake View Lad’s eight wins on the track have come on heavy ground. If the going did end up being heavy in April, his odds would almost certainly be much shorter than the 33/1* he is priced at right now.
*odds subject to change.