With a guaranteed spot as 2013 Grand National Runner, this is potentially the one and only shot Forpadydeplasterer is going to get at winning one of the most coveted prizes in National Hunt racing so prepping him for it was always going to be paramount for trainer Thomas Cooper.
Giving him his first start over hurdles for almost five years, in a bid to mix it up slightly, Cooper sent him to Leopardstown last week for a run in the Ballsbridge Hurdle, in which there were 14 runners.
Speaking to the Racing Post Cooper said “It's the first time he's getting the ground he likes this year. He's in great form and, while the trip is a bit sharp, the purpose of the race is to get a good run into him before Aintree.
“He won the Deloitte Novice Hurdle over the course and trip back in the day and I'd be hopeful he finishes in the first three. But all roads lead to Aintree with him.”
Forpadydeplasterer ran well, jumped cleanly and overall had a decent race. He was in fourth spot on the run in to the winning post but whether or not he took his hoof off the pedal or simply ran out gas, either way he got passed by a couple of horses and finished in a respectable sixth position.
Remember the aim of the game is to not necessarily win these prep races, it's to get the horses legs stretched, get them back in racing mode and with weather having been so bad this season, many trainers are now in a position where they have to run their charges in races they may not have considered before in order to get the training in.