Jimmy Moffatt gives Highland Lodge chance to shine at Haydock

Mon 15 Jan 2018

By staff

Highland Lodge is set to take his chance in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday following his fine effort in the Becher Chase.

The 12-year-old, one of 15 entries for the valuable contest over nearly three and a quarter miles, was third to Blaklion over the Grand National fences last month.

Highland Lodge is set to return to Aintree in April, but not for the Grand National after he was pulled up in the race last season.

Trainer Jimmy Moffatt said: "I'm very happy with him. The intention is to run. He's come out of the Becher very well.

"With the Grand National not being in his sights now we are freed up to give him a more traditional season, with his end target being the Topham."

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Blaklion's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is represented by Kempton scorer Tintern Theatre, while David Pipe has put in 2016 Becher winner Vieux Lion Rouge.

Rock The Kasbah could head to Merseyside after missing the Welsh National due to the heavy ground.

Others in the mix include Forest Les Aigles, Ptit Zig and Carole's Destrier.

The only entry from across the Irish Sea is Stuart Crawford's Fine Rightly.

Haydock clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright is "cautiously optimistic" the card on Saturday can defeat the elements.

The going is already described as heavy on Merseyside, with anything up to 28 millimetres of rain due to fall before raceday.

On top of that, there is also the threat of snow and frost.

Tellwright said: "It could be a challenging week. At this stage I'd be cautiously optimistic and we'd just about cope with what is forecast.

"The wettest day is set to be Wednesday and then it gets colder when snow, sleet and frost becomes the issue. Fingers crossed we'll be OK if the forecast is correct."

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