From trainer Jim Dreaper comes Goonyella, a nine year old that really packs a punch on the national hunt circuit. He’s a worthy chaser who finished 8th in the 2013 Coral Welsh National, 7th in the 2014 Irish Grand National, and was the winner of the 2015 Midlands Grand National proving that stamina is not an issue with him.
He has had 15 career chase starts, winning three of them and placing in another five. Following a decent showing in the Becher Chase in December, where he finished 9th, his ante post odds for the 2016 Grand National dropped dramatically to as short as 20/1.
He is most definitely a long distance runner and when connections opted for the Scottish National last season it paid off handsomely when he finished 2nd behind the winner Wayward Prince.
From his 20 starts under Race Rules, 15 of them have been at 3m or more. The downside is that the ground will need to be on the softer side so decent weather may scupper his chances.
He has been entered into the Grand National twice before but due to Official Rating he did not make the cut in 2014 or in 2015 so no doubt connections are hoping that 2016 will be the year where he finally gets to the starting line-up.
Picture by: Barry Cronin/PA Archive/Press Association Images