Lake View Lad to bide time before Aintree prep
Connections of Lake View Lad are set to wait until the Aintree Grand National weights are announced before running their charge again.
The 10-year-old son of Oscar races in the quartered green and yellow colours of Aintree enthusiast Trevor Hemmings and is trained in Scotland by Nick Alexander.
Pleasing effort in Rowland Meyrick defence
He was third behind another potential Grand National candidate Top Ville Ben in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day on his second start of the campaign.
Alexander was pleased with that run but he has indicated there won’t be a follow-up until after the weights for the Grand National come out on February 11.
“He’s come out of it really well,” said Fife-based Alexander. “We’re very happy with him. He had his first canter on Tuesday and looked absolutely spot on.
“I suspect we might not run him until the National weights are out. He’s dropped another 1lb (to 154) for that. We might wait until February to run him now – because he has a hard old race the other day.”
First taste of Aintree behind Tiger Roll
Having won the Rowland Meyrick last season, Lake View Lad finished a pleasing third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March as Beware The Bear won for Nicky Henderson.
Another Hemmings-owned horse, Vintage Clouds, finish second for the Sue Smith stable.
From there, Lake View Lad went onto Aintree and his first taste of the Grand National, indeed, his first-ever appearance at the famous Merseyside venue.
Sent off a 14-1 chance under Henry Brooke, Lake View Lad was fading from contention when he was hampered by a faller at the fourth-last fence and was duly pulled up afterwards.
That experience will stand him in good stead should he get back to Aintree this spring and owner Hemmings will be eager to see if he can improve on it.
Hemmings’ Grand National pedigree
Hemmings has famously saddled three winners of the world’s most iconic steeplechase – Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015). That’s enough to make him the joint winning-most owner in Grand National history.
This year he’ll join Gigginstown House Stud in seeking a fourth win at Aintree, with Michael O’Leary’s operation set to allow the Gordon Elliott-trainer Tiger Roll bid to complete a remarkable hat-trick in the great race after wins in 2018 and last year under Davy Russell.
Getting back to Aintree is what Alexander wants with Lake View Lad and his Christmas run at Wetherby left the trainer more than satisfied.
He’ll wait patiently until the middle of next month before taking the next step on what he hopes will be a return to Liverpool in April for a second assault on the Randox Health Grand National prize.
“He finished strongly [on Boxing Day], looked like he stayed very well, so the dream is still alive,” added Alexander.
“The National is the target. We will run him before then, but I’m not quite sure where we’ll go.”