It's been a long time coming but finally, trainer Dr Richard Newland will be fielding his first ever Grand National runner when Pineau De Re takes to the Aintree Fences on Saturday, April 5th.
Signs are good that Pineau De Re can put in a good show on Saturday and recently placed third over hurdles at Cheltenham with his trainer saying: “He was a bit unlucky at Cheltenham, he missed the last and was staying on strongly but he's come out of the race in good form.”
Pineau De Re has seen his Grand National odds slashed over the last few weeks and is now as short as 20/1 with many punters taking up the offer based on his solid recent performances even if he did fall in the Becher Chase, over the National fences, back in December 2013.
Newland said “The National is a quality race, no question about that. It's not like the old days and certainly takes some winning.”
And with that in mind he has been schooling his charge over National style fences in order to prep him thoroughly for the race he is about to tackle stating that the ground won't necessarily have the same impact on him as some of his fellow runners.
“He's pretty versatile in terms of ground, he just wouldn't want a bog over four and a half miles. He handled soft ground at Exeter but good ground would be fine for him.
“It's very exciting to have a National runner.
“I've been training since 2006 and we usually have about 12 horses in at a time.
It's very hard to get in the race as you need a really good horse, so it's nice to have one good enough to run.”
Picture by: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport