Vieux Lion Rouge leads Pipe's National assault

Thu 20 Jul 2017

Vieux Lion Rouge is firmly on track for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on April 8.

David Pipe's chaser was seventh in the great race last year as a novice and has since won over the big fences in the Becher Chase, before landing Haydock's Grand National Trial on his most recent outing.

"We have six left in the Grand National and probably only two will get in, Vieux Lion Rouge and Ballynagour. I don't think the ground will be too much concern for him (Vieux Lion Rouge) over the Grand National trip. He seems to like the fences and Tom Scudamore is very much looking forward to the ride," said Pipe.

"Ballynagour is a hard horse to predict, but is a very good one on his day. He seems to come alive on the spring ground."

Last season's Scottish Grand National winner Vicente now races in the silks of Trevor Hemmings, who has won the race three times.

Hemmings' racing manager Mick Meagher said: "He is a nice horse and only an eight-year-old so he might have a few years to go.

"I went to look at Vicente, who is lovely and he flew through the vet. He has some good form which would give him a right chance.

"He is a bit dependent on the ground - he does not like it too wet."

Highland Lodge just missed the cut last season but Cumbria trainer Jimmy Moffatt is in optimistic mood.

He said: "He is a big, fine horse and obviously has an engine as well and has taken a liking to this place.

"He is stronger again this year and we believe the best way to run him is to keep him fresh.

"I am expecting him to win - you have got to have belief in what you are doing."

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