Grand National 2018
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Saint Are in “great form” ahead of Grand National bid

Gloucestershire trainer Tom George is looking forward to saddling Saint Are, currently a 33/1 shot with Coral, in the £1 million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday April 11th, and reports him to be in fantastic shape ahead of his second run in the big race.

The nine-year-old is no stranger to success at this Festival, having taken the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and a Listed Handicap Chase over 3m 1f on the Mildmay Course in 2012.

Saint Are also contested the 2013 Grand National, coming home ninth behind Auroras Encore under 10st 8lb and has been allocated 10st 6lb this year in this year’s renewal.

Owned by David Fox, Saint Are was trained by Tim Vaughan in Wales before joining George this season.

The gelding finished third on his first three starts, including over the Grand National fences behind Oscar Time in the Becher Chase, before bolting up last time out a Catterick to register his first win for almost three years.

George said: “Saint Are is on course for the Crabbie’s Grand National and is in great form.

“We had a trip away with him on Friday [March 27th] and went down to Lambourn. He did some work and had a schooling session over the Grand National fences. Obviously, he has jumped over them before but it was good to have a day out with him.

“We couldn’t be happier with him at present. He looks like he has really come on for the spring weather, which he has done in the past. He really looks fantastic.”

Saint Are ticks the right trend boxes as far as age and weight are concerned, but a negative is that he is French bred as only two this century – Mon Mome (2009) and Neptune Collonges (2012) – have won the Grand National.

George also confirmed that exciting novice chaser God’s Own will be heading to Aintree.

The seven-year-old bounced back to form last time out at the Cheltenham Festival when running a stormer to finish a six length runner-up to Un De Sceaux in the Arkle and has come out of the race well.

George said: “I think God’s Own will probably have three entries at Aintree. We will put him in the two novices’ chases plus the Melling Chase.

“We just want to keep our options with him and see what the races look like. He has come out of the Cheltenham race well and is spot on. He is a horse that takes everything in his stride.

“Like Saint Are, he is another horse who loves the spring – some sun on his back and the better ground.”