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Smith hoping Clouds can shine at Aintree in Randox Health Grand National

Press Release 25th March 2019 Aintree

West Yorkshire trainer Sue Smith has her sights set on a second Randox Health Grand National victory, this time with the Trevor Hemmings-owned Vintage Clouds.

Smith enjoyed the biggest victory of her career in the 2013 edition of the world's greatest chase when outsider Auroras Encore triumphed at 66/1.

Vintage Clouds.jpg

Vintage Clouds, in contrast, is the 12/1 fourth favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, after a series of good performances in staying chases.

The nine-year-old, who ended last season with a creditable third in the Scottish Grand National, began this campaign with victory in a valuable handicap chase over just shy of three and a quarter miles at Haydock Park in November.

Having disappointed in the Welsh Grand National on his next outing, the grey horse showed the benefit of a wind operation when a close second behind Beware The Bear in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 12.

Vintage Cloud was allotted 10st with a rating of 144 when the weights were announced in February for the £1-million Randox Health Grand National and, following his run at Cheltenham, is officially 5lb well-in as his rating has gone up to 149.

Smith, who is based at Craiglands Farm near Bingley, said: "Vintage Clouds has come out of Cheltenham in good form.

"He took that race really well and he had just come back from a small wind op, so we were absolutely delighted with him. He jumped great and we couldn't have asked for more.

"Danny [Cook] gave him a lovely ride and all the team have done a lovely job with him at home.

"The Grand National at Aintree is now the plan for him and the three-week gap between his last race and Liverpool should be ideal.

"We are easing him back into his usual work routine, but he is fit and should be spot on for the Grand National."

Hemmings is one of only four owners to have won the Randox Health Grand National three times, along with Noel Le Mare (Red Run 1973, 1974 & 1977), James Machall (1873 Disturbance, 1874 Reugny, 1876 Regal) and Sir Charles Assheton-Smith (1893 Cloister, Jerry M 1912, Covertcoat 1913).

Hemmings tasted success through Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015), and if successful in 2019, he will become the most successful owner in Randox Health Grand National history.

A maximum of 40 runners can line up for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 6, with the next confirmations stage on Monday, April 1.

It is the 172nd running of the great Ainree chase, which is over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards and 30 fences.

The 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree takes place from Thursday, April 4 to Saturday, April 6.

Randox Health Grand National, Betway prices:

4/1 Tiger Roll

10/1 Anibale Fly

11/1 Rathvinden

12/1 Vintage Clouds

14/1 Lake View Lad

20/1 Bristol De Mai, Mall Dini, Pleasant Company, Rock The Kasbah

25/1 General Principle, Minella Rocco, Ms Parfois, One For Arthur, Pairofbrowneyes, Step Back, Up For Review, Walk In The Mill

33/1 Abolitionist, Alpha Des Obeaux, Blaklion, Captain Redbeard, Carole's Destrier, Dounikos, Jury Duty, Noble Endeavor, Ramses De Teillee, The Young Master, Valtor

40/1 Folsom Blue, Go Conquer, Impulsive Star, Joe Farrell, Out Sam, Vieux Lion Rouge, Warriors Tale

50/1 Baie Des Iles, Ballyoptic, Borice, Cogry, Daklondike, Don Poli, Isleofhopendreams, Mala Beach, Monbeg Notorious, Potters Corner, Sandymount Duke, Shattered Love, Singlefarmpayment, The Storyteller, Ultragold, Yala Enki

66/1 A Toi Phil, Bless The Wings, Blow By Blow, Fact Of The Matter, Livelovelaugh, Magic Of Light, Measureofmydreams, Milansbar, Mr Diablo, Outlander, Polidam, Red Infantry, Regal Encore, Sub Lieutenant, Tea For Two, Valseur Lido, Vieux Morvan

80/1 Call It Magic, Looking Well, Shantou Village

100/1 Highland Lodge, Just A Par, Kilcrea Vale, Kingswell Theatre, Scoir Mear, Splash Of Ginge, Ziga Boy

150/1 Morney Wing, Rathlin Rose

Each-Way ¼ odds - 1, 2, 3, 4


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