Quito De La Roque ready to roll in Crabbie’s Grand National

Trainer Colm Murphy believes Quito De La Roque has what it takes to win the Crabbie’s Grand National, and the gelding is a 50/1 chance with Coral to land the spoils.

The 10-year-old is a classy sort, and has run well on all of his three previous visits to Aintree.

He won the Mildmay Novices’ Chase in 2011, finished third to Wayward Prince in a listed chase 12 months later, and a solid fourth of eight to First Lieutenant in last year’s Betfred Bowl.

The son of Saints De Saints was rated 161 in the latter, but is set to run off 9lb lower in the National and carry 11st 1lb.

That gives him a big chance at the weights if taking to the unique National fences at the first time of asking, but he will need to bounce back from some disappointing runs this season if he is to take advantage.

The Gigginstown House Stud owned gelding has failed to trouble the judge in four starts, and was pulled up on his last outing at Fairyhouse in the Grade 2 Bobbyjoe Chase won by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own.

However, his handler reports him to be in good shape and believes his toughness will stand him in good stead in the 4m 4f marathon test.

He said: “He’s going along nicely at home. He’s had his problems over the years but he’s a tough horse, which is obviously important in the National.

“We’re very happy with him and his preparation has gone well.”

Given that he was rated as high as 169 when finishing a fine third to Synchronised in the 2011 running of the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, there is little doubt that he is now on a decent handicap mark.

He also acts on any going, and horses aged 10 have fared well in the National in recent times having triumphed in five of the last 11 runnings.