Noble Yeats faces "mammoth task" in bid for second National

Sun 26 Mar 2023

Emmet Mullins has confirmed Noble Yeats to be firmly on course for his bid for back-to-back victories in the Randox Grand National next month.

The eight-year-old carried Sam Waley-Cohen to a famous success in the Aintree spectacular last season on what proved to be the amateur rider’s swansong.

Noble Yeats has enjoyed another fine season, with wins at Wexford and Aintree followed by third place in the Cotswold Chase before his staying-on fourth behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Mullins reports his stable star to have taken those exertions in his stride and is looking forward to seeing him return to Merseyside to defend his Grand National crown on April 15.

“Noble Yeats looks great and if he hadn’t run in the Gold Cup last week I’d be saying I’d have to work him this week, so it is all systems go for the National,” said the trainer.

“It will be a mammoth task to carry that weight (11st 11lb), but at least we know he’ll take to the course and stay the trip, so those are two big ticks.”

Another Mullins inmate to perform with credit in defeat at the Cheltenham Festival was Corbetts Cross, who was being delivered with a major challenge in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle only to run out at the final flight.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old, who had won on each of his three previous runs, could now be set for a break.

Mullins added: “It was one of those things with Corbetts Cross and we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

“I’m not sure if we’ll see him again this year as he’s had a funny time since I’ve had him. I ran him at Naas not knowing whether I’d be going to Cheltenham or not and then it nearly came off, but we are in a different position now and will gather our thoughts and reassess him.”

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