There are plenty of potential 2019 Grand National runners who plan to use the Cheltenham Festival as a prep for the big race. Ultragold is one of them. Trained by Colin Tizzard, Ultragold is guaranteed a spot on April 6th. He currently sits at number 46 on the Grand National list and will easily make the cut.
Aintree has become a very familiar stomping ground for the 11-year-old. He won the Topham Chase in both 2017 and 2018 and was second in the Grand Sefton in 2017. Most recently, however, he finished third in the Becher Chase. And was just six lengths off the winner, Walk In The Mill.
Clearly with an eye on the prize, Tizzard has used this season to test Ultragold's stamina in the longer races. He started the season at Cheltenham over 3m. That progressed to 3m2f at Aintree in December before he headed to Warwick in January to run over 3m5f.
While he didn't win any of them, he did stay the course. That said, while he ran a very steady race and jumped fluidly, he didn't have enough in the tank to mount a serious challenge on the run in. That is reflected in his National odds where he is a general 33/1 with most bookmakers. Those looking for an Aintree betting preview, or ideas for outside contenders worthy of an each-way bet consideration, could do worse than taking a closer look at Ultragold.
Clearly in a bid to give him the best chance in the 2019 Grand National, Colin Tizzard has entered him in the Glenfarclas Chase. What makes this so interesting is that he will be up against Tiger Roll. And that also appears to be where Tizzard found his inspiration.
He said “We’ve had this brainwave this week that we might run him in the cross-country chase,.
“It seemed a good prep race for the National for one of the others (winner Tiger Roll) last year!
“We ran him at Cheltenham the last two or three years – and although he hasn’t won, he has done quite well, and it has been a good prep for Aintree.
“He is in the Ultima, but he will be put in the cross country. We will school him, but I just think he will have a better chance of winning the cross-country than he would the Ultima.
“Then we will run him in the Grand National. He is in the Topham – but if he gets in, he will go for the National.”
Cheltenham will be the place where the Grand National gauntlet is thrown down for a lot of runners. Ultragold taking on Tiger Roll in the Glenfarclas will be one of them.