Can Vintage Star shine in Crabbie’s Grand National?
Vintage Star is set to represent connections with Grand National-winning form in this year’s big race at Aintree, and is 33/1 with Coral to win the 4m 4f contest.
His trainer Sue Smith sent out Auroras Encore to win the race 12 months ago, while owner Trevor Hemmings has seen his colours carried to glory by Hedgehunter (2005) and Ballabriggs (2011).
Jockey Brian Hughes has also enjoyed success over the Grand National fences, scoring on Always Waining in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase and Frankie Figg in the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap, both in 2010.
In Vintage Star, they have a lightly raced and progressive stayer who has as some solid form to his name.
The eight-year-old has scored twice from 10 starts over fences, easily winning a Catterick novices’ chase last January before beating beat Buddy Bolero in a Carlisle graduation chase at Carlisle back in November.
He has since gone on to run some excellent races in better company, going down by a neck in the listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle, before finishing a highly creditable sixth in the Welsh National at Chepstow behind Mountainous.
The son of Presenting then finished a solid runner-up to Wychwoods Brook in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, before falling at the fifth fence on latest appearance in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He is normally a sound jumper who travels strongly in his races, handles all types of going, and has a nice racing weight of 10st 7lb in the National.
Given his connections, his chances should not be underestimated and he could prove to be a live oustider if taking to the unique Aintree fences on Saturday, April 5th.