Bailey on the hunt for more Grand National gold
The Rainbow Hunter was bought by his current owners with the long-term objective of winning the Crabbie’s Grand National, and he is 33/1 with Coral to fulfil their dream and land the Aintree showpiece.
The gelding was originally trained by Andy Turnell, and didn’t get off to the best of starts after joining Kim Bailey in 2011 when falling at the first in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton.
He also fell on his second start over fences for his new handler, and that saw him returned to hurdles for his next three starts.
Although he failed to win, the patient approach paid off as he went on to record back-to-back victories over fences in May and November of 2012.
He was bought by his current owners, the May We Never Be Found Out Partnership, in between these two victories and they immediately cited the Grand National as the horse’s long-term target.
The 10-year-old then shaped promisingly in his prep run for last year’s Grand National, finishing fourth in a competitive handicap chase at Ascot, and lined up at Aintree as a lively outsider.
However, the Grand National dream ended when he unseated Aidan Coleman at the Canal Turn on the first circuit.
He then went on to be pulled-up in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on his final start last season, before making a promising return to action this term with a second behind Wiesentraum at Fakenham.
The son of Rainbow High then failed to build on that when only sixth on his next start at Haydock, after which the decision was made to give him a wind operation.
It appeared to make all the difference as he recorded a smooth 1 1/2 length victory in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster last time out, and he now gets into the National off a nice racing weight of 10st 7lb after that confidence boosting success.
The fact that he failed to complete 12 months ago is not a negative according to the stats as Red Marauder, Hedgehunter and Silver Birch all fell in previous Grand Nationals before winning the race.
Another plus is that his handler knows what is required to win the 4m 4f contest having saddled Mr Frisk to win in a course record of 8m 47.80s back in 1990.