Ben Pauling heartened by Le Breuil effort with Grand National in mind

Tue 10 Dec 2019

All roads lead to the Randox Health Grand National for Le Breuil following his encouraging effort over the famous fences on Saturday.

Winner of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, Ben Pauling’s charge was pulled up on his return to action over hurdles at Wetherby last month.

However, Pauling shut down his entire yard for a shade over a month not long afterwards, and was hopeful his charge would put up an improved performance as he tackled the Grand National fences for the first time in the Becher Chase.

The Verdict: watch what our experts made of the Becher Chase

Reunited with his Cheltenham partner Jamie Codd, Le Breuil jumped with aplomb and was far from disgraced in finishing seventh, beaten 20 lengths by Walk In The Mill, who was winning the race for the second year in succession.

Pauling said: “Le Breuil was very good on Saturday and jumped brilliantly. Jamie said he hasn’t ridden many that have jumped around Aintree as well as him, those were his words.

“He travelled into the race well and then got tired going across the Melling Road. It was basically like his first run of the season, as he didn’t really have a race at Wetherby.

“He didn’t stop and kept galloping, so I think it’s all systems go for the National and he’ll be prepared accordingly."

His effort also caught the eye of Racing TV pundit Ben Linfoot, who said after the Becher that the 40-1 available for Le Breuil in the Grand National made some appeal.

As regards future plans, Pauling said: “I’m not sure what we’ll do between now and the National. We might run him again over fences as he thrived on his racing last season, but then he is on pretty much the ideal mark now, so we’ll have to see.”

The Bourton-on-the-Water-based trainer also provided a positive update on the high-class Kildisart.

An impressive winner at last season’s Grand National meeting, the seven-year-old made his return to action in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle in early November, finishing third behind subsequent Betfair Chase hero Lostintranslation.

“The plan is to run him in the Silver Trophy at Ascot on December 21,” Pauling added.

“We toyed with the idea of the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last Saturday, but we decided against it in favour of waiting for the handicap option at Ascot instead.

“He’s in good form and pretty well at Carlisle, considering how most of my horses were running at the time.”

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