The Package Renews Grand National Hopes

The Package needed a good run and he got one last week in the Cheltenham Festival by finishing in third place in the opening day’s Handicap Chase.

Carrying 11-02, the David Pipe trained 11-year-old went off at odds of 16/1 but rallied on wonderfully to finish just over eight lengths behind the winner Holywell.

Currently a 66/1 chance with Paddy Power for the 2014 Crabbies Grand National, this was the first race for The Package in a year, and David Pipe was clearly delighted with his performance.

Following the third place finish he said: “He’s run a cracker and it’s Grand National next stop.

“He’s been in really good form at home and I really fancied him to run well, but he’s a little bit older and he was a little outpaced early on.

“He was caught a bit wide and came off the bridle a long way so credit to him for keeping going.

“He’s run in the National once before and was a bit sticky at the fences, but he was warming to the task when unseating [at the 19th fence]. As we know, it’s a different race now.”

He carried 11-02 at Cheltenham and while he’s still not guaranteed a spot in the Grand National, as he currently lies in 56th spot, if he does make it in he wll only carry 10-04 which will be one of the lowest weights he will ever have run off which may just give him an advantage, particularly is the going at Aintree is as good as it was at Cheltenham.

At 66/1 ante-post savy punters may be tempted to stick a few quid on him each-way.