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Alfie Sherrin’s Cheltenham showing gives him outside National chance

Alfie Sherrin’s fourth-place finish in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase leaves him well placed to make waves in next month’s Grand National.

Horses who have prospered in the Kim Muir in recent years have also enjoyed success in the Aintree showpiece a month later.

Sunnyhillboy – who was withdrawn from Gold Cup action at the last moment – romped to victory in the 2012 instalment of the Kim Muir before finishing second in the Grand National, while Ballabriggs followed up his 2010 win in this Cheltenham chase with an Aintree triumph the following year.

Although Sherrin could only manage to finish fourth in this race yet, despite finishing outside of the places, he was the strongest stayer on show in the Kim Muir and can expect an improvement at Aintree, should he enter.

At the minute, the 10-year-old’s rating isn’t strong enough to see him make the top 40 entrants but, as it’s still only early doors, withdrawals are forecast.

Another factor falling in Sherrin’s favour is that, should he run in the National, he will not have to compete from outside of the handicap. This is thanks to the retirement of Albertas Run, promoting Imperial Commander to top weight, bringing the handicap down two pounds and this means Alfie Sherrin will start the race off his correct mark. He would have had to produce a performance beyond his ability to win this race, now the playing field seems to have levelled out.

Alfie Sherrin can be backed to win the Grand National at 33/1.