16-time winner Peregrine Run has had a break since finishing last of five behind Douvan in the Clonmel Oil Chase. But he’s now all set and raring to go according to his trainer, Peter Fahey.

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, has been earmarked as the ten-year-old’s next port of call before a possible tilt at the 2020 Grand National three weeks later.

Fahey told the Irish Field: “Peregrine Run jumped a few fences a Leopardstown on Monday and jumped well.

“The aim is the Cross Country race next week, so long as we’re happy with the ground.

“Ideally we’d like to get him qualified for the Grand National, so he needs to run in either the bank race or a race at Down Royal.

“He’s in good form. It would be good to get him qualified for the national if we can. But if we can’t, it won’t be the end of the world, and he’ll still have a good summer”.

Peregrine Run currently sits as position number 10 in the Grand National weights on a mark of 10st 13lbs. The majority of his wins have come on going described as “Good” and the King’s Theatre-gelding is a general 66/1 chance with the bookmakers.

Peregrine Run hasn’t yet qualified for the 2020 Grand National. The rules state he needs to be placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase with an official distance description of’ two miles seven and a half furlongs’ or more at any time during his career. He has never even started a race at that distance so, as a result, has never placed in one.

Taking The View

A sinus problem has prompted trainer Nick Alexander to skip the Cheltenham Festival and to send his Trevor Hemmings-owned grey, Lake View Lad, straight to the Grand National now.

The plan for the ten-year-old was to head back to the Festival for the Ultima Handicap Chase, in which he finished third last season. However, due to his nasal issue, Alexander had to cut back his work with the horse.

Alexander said: “He’s fine, but he had a small sinus issue. He’d have probably run in the Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday if it hadn’t been for that, which is a bit annoying.

“He’s in at Cheltenham (in the Ultima Handicap Chase), but I think we’ll go straight to Aintree with him.”

Alexander also indicated there was plenty of ground for optimism, adding: “It should clear up very quickly.

“He’s back in work, anyway. It was just a small hold-up.

“We might take him away for a gallop at some point. He ran a month ago at Kelso over hurdles, so I’m quite happy with that.”

Lake View Lad was pulled up in last year’s contest and is hovering around the 50/1 mark for this year’s renewal.

Red Letter Day

The Brian Ellison-trained Definitly Red is right on target for another crack at the Grand National in a month’s time after he was successful in the Premier Chase at Kelso last weekend.

Having the option of either running in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster or the Premier Chase at Kelso, Ellison took the Scottish option and things played out perfectly.

Under jockey Danny Cook, Definitly Red jumped superbly throughout to register a 14 lengths victory over nearest rival Kauto Riko and Brian Hughes.

Brian Ellison admitted to reporters after the Kelso triumph: “I’ve backed him for the National, despite not being a big gambler, but I’ve always thought the race would suit him as he’s a proper stayer.

“He’s got plenty going for him, he’s got a nice weight, 10st 12lb, but you need luck in the National.”

Bookmakers reacted by cutting Definitly Red from 25/1 to 16/1 for the 2020 Grand National and he is proving to be a popular alternative choice to the long-time favourite Tiger Roll.

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