Green Flag: is being aimed at Coral Scottish Grand NationalPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Lucinda Russell aiming to fly Green Flag at Ayr
GREEN FLAG has enjoyed a fine first term over fences, and trainer Lucinda Russell is eyeing a big prize to end the seven-year-old's season, with the Coral Scottish Grand National the primary target.
Winner of his first three novice chases, Green Flag is a 14-1 chance for the Scottish Grand National with the sponsors, and ran well when fourth behind Holywell at the Cheltenham Festival.
Russell, speaking in this week's RFO Trainer File, said: "He ran a stormer in the Bayliss & Harding Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. He was staying on very well so I think he'll get further and he is likely to go for the Scottish National, although the bet365 Gold Cup is another option. He doesn't want the ground worse than good to soft. There's a big race to be won with him."
More immediately is this week's Aintree's Crabbie's Grand National meeting, and Russell hopes to have runners in both the Crabbie's Topham Chase and Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle.
The Grade 1 Sefton would represent a big jump in both distance and class for Voyage A New York, and Russell added: "He's progressed well since joining us, winning a maiden hurdle at Carlisle last month. He could step up in trip this week at Aintree in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle."
Be My Deputy is a 66-1 outsider for the Topham, and Russell said: "He'll run in the Topham Chase on Thursday if he gets in. He's best on good to soft and the plan will be to spend most of the summer at Perth, where he should win his share of handicap chases."
Get the latest on Lucinda Russell's team only in Tuesday's Racing & Football Outlook