The Last Samuri (right): chaser is 16-1 for the National
PICTURE:Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew King 3:55PM 5 MAR 2017
TRAINER Kim Bailey has confirmed it is all systems go towards another tilt at the Randox Health Grand National for last season’s runner-up The Last Samuri despite the nine-year-old being beaten into second place by Definitly Red in his preparation race at Doncaster over the weekend.
Bailey declared himself to be “happy, happy, happy” with his charge on Sunday morning, adding: “He has come out of Saturday’s race in fine shape and he will now head straight to Aintree next month without another run, which was always the plan.
“It was a much better race at Doncaster on Saturday than when he won it last year and he was shouldering 12lb more this time around. He had top weight and was giving the winner 12lb, so it was a really good performance as he was staying on very well from the last fence.
“We had the race lined up for him as we wanted to follow the same route to Aintree as last year and everything I saw at Doncaster makes me think the horse is just as good, if not better, than he was 12 months ago and all roads definitely now lead to Liverpool at the beginning of next month.”
The Last Samuri is a general 16-1 chance to go one better in the world’s biggest steeplechase next month after his determined effort in Saturday’s Betbright Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster.