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Two-time Becher Chase winner Walk In The Mill ready for hurdles outing

Tue 28 Jan 2020

Dual Becher Chase winner Walk In The Mill is set to have a run over hurdles at Chepstow this week.

The 10-year-old, who finished fourth to Tiger Roll in the Grand National last year, is having his campaign built around a return trip to Aintree.

He holds an entry in the Chepstow Trade Centre Novices’ Hurdle over almost three miles on Friday – and is an intended runner.

Trainer Robert Walford said: “He is entered on Friday and will probably run there. It is just a novice hurdle, but he just needs to get on a racecourse.

“He has done plenty of work, but this is not the be all and end all. He will probably just have this run (before Aintree), and then we will take him for a racecourse gallop somewhere. It is pretty much the same as last season.”

Walk In The Mill has won the Becher Chase for the last two years, and his trainer is hoping for another bold show in the National.

He added: “The form of his Becher win has worked out well, with the second horse (Kimberlite Candy) winning the Classic Chase at Warwick, and he seems in good form.

“He is not well handicapped – but if he gets a good run round in the Grand National, he should be in the first six.

“He is not the classiest horse, and a better-class horse would always beat him, but he loves those fences and he stays well.”

Meanwhile, One For Arthur will make an appearance at either Kelso or Haydock next month before bidding for a second victory in the Grand National.

It is three years since Lucinda Russell’s stable star became only the second Scottish-trained winner of the world’s greatest steeplechase, since when he has made just five competitive starts, including a sixth-placed finish in last year’s National.

So far this term the 10-year-old has run with credit at Kelso before placing fifth when tackling the famous fences for a fourth time in last month’s Becher Chase.

Derek Fox celebrates Grand National glory with One For ArthuR
Derek Fox celebrates Grand National glory with One For ArthuR

Russell has been delighted with her charge since and is keen to give him just one more run before sending him back to Merseyside – with the Edinburgh Gin Chase at Kelso on February 13 currently favoured over Haydock’s Grand National Trial two days later.

“We’ve just entered him for the Grand National and we’ve also entered him for the National Trial at Haydock. His preferred option is the race at Kelso, but we’ve got snow here this morning and it makes sense to keep all bases covered,” said the Kinross handler on Tuesday.

“He seems in very good form. After the Becher we said we’d wait until the National weights come out before we run him again.

“I actually think he ran better in the Becher this year than he did during the season he went on to win the National.

One For Arthur lapped up the attention at his Grand National homecoming
One For Arthur lapped up the attention at his Grand National homecoming

“We’ve been saying for a while we think he’s moving better and feels better this year. If we can keep him that way between now and April, I think we’ll go there with a great chance.”

One For Arthur is a general 33-1 shot for the National on April 4, with Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll the 6-1 favourite to emulate Red Rum with a third success.

The weights for the race will be revealed on February 11.

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