Blaklion and Ryan Hatch winning at last year’s Cheltenham Festival
PICTURE:Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 6:15PM 2 MAR 2017
BLAKLION, winner of the RSA Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 12 months ago, will miss this year’s meeting and head straight to the Randox Health Grand National.
The eight-year-old has an entry in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies believes he would stand a better chance of winning the National if kept fresh.
This season Blaklion has finished a creditable fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup and runner-up behind National favourite Vieux Lion Rouge in the Grand National Trial at Haydock last time.
Twiston-Davies has won the Grand National twice with Earth Summit and Bindaree but counts Blaklion, a top priced 20-1, among the best he’s targeted at the race.
He said: “I would love to run Blaklion in the Gold Cup but we have to think patiently as that could affect his Grand National chance.
“Surely you are going to be a few pounds better by not running. We have won it twice with horses who did run at the festival but they weren’t real certainties.”
Do not miss Friday’s Racing Post for a horse-by-horse guide to the Twiston-Davies Cheltenham team