Lavelle in no rush with De Rasher Counter

Last Updated 2 Feb 2020 | Commercial content | 18+


Emma Lavelle’s Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter will be taking aim at the Randox Health Grand National in 2021, says the trainer.

The eight-year-old son of Yeats remains low-mileage over fences with three wins from eight starts to date and he’s going to have his stamina examined this year in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter.

Cheltenham off the radar

After finishing a well-beaten fourth in the Cotswold Chase at on Cheltenham Trials Day recently in a race won by Santini, Lavelle admits De Rasher Counter won’t be taking up his entry in next month’s Gold Cup at Prestbury Park.

Instead, he’ll be resting up on the festival finale afternoon with an eye on Uttoxeter 24 hours later and a bid for Midlands National glory over the marathon four-mile-two-furlong trip; often run in testing conditions.

“Our thoughts are we might look at the Midlands National with him as he’s got good course form and it’s a valuable race,” said the trainer.

Lavelle isn’t overly perturbed at the prospect of De Rasher Counter carrying a big weight at Uttoxeter, as she added: “Yes, he’ll have nearly top weight, but it’s a big race in it’s own right, so at the moment that’s probably where we’ll head.

“He’s got plenty of ability – he showed that at Newbury, which was always our aim, so he owes us nothing. I think the [Grand] National will be our aim next year, but he needs a bit more experience.”

De Rasher Counter was a winner over three miles on the Midlands National undercard last year, while he has been placed behind Lil Rockerfeller on his other chase outing at the track.

Aintree in 2021

Lavelle will keep hold of the Grand National dream for De Rasher Counter, with the spring of 2021 firmly set in the distance.

She admits that there was no temptation to take on the great race this time around, given his relative lack of experience as a chaser.

He has impressed so far, most notably in that Ladbrokes Trophy success at Newbury in November, but his effort behind Santini, Bristol De Mai and Top Ville Ben at Cheltenham recently has helped convince Lavelle she made the right call in swerving Aintree this season.

The Gold Cup, too, will have to wait for another time as De Rasher Counter seeks more experience over the larger obstacles.

“I didn’t even put him in the Grand National this year because I don’t think he’s ready for it,” said Lavelle.

“I think he’d prefer nicer ground – it was tacky at Cheltenham and wasn’t loose enough.

“When they quickened a little, it made him make a mistake and we never really got back into it. He galloped up the hill, but he won’t be in the Gold Cup on the back of that.”

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