Tharawaat: finished eighth in the Grand National at 125-1 in AprilPICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
Becher Chase aim for Elliott's Tharawaat
THARAWAAT will head for the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree next month with trainer Gordon Elliott hoping it can be the first step on the way to success in the John Smith's Grand National in April.
Owned by Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud, Tharawaat was eighth in this year's National at 125-1 and Elliott feels there is improvement left in his seven-year-old.
Elliott, who trained Silver Birch to win the 2007 National, said: "He has come out of the Troytown well and everything seems okay. He blew up but came home well so we were very pleased with his performance.
"We thought he would run a good race in last season's Grand National and he was staying on very strongly at the finish.
"We will be looking at the Grand National again with him and if we were lucky enough to get a Grand National on soft ground, it would suit him really well."
Monksland (centre): must concede weight to Voler La VedettePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Monksland faces tough ask in Hatton's Grace
NOEL MEADE feels Monksland faces a tough task in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday as he aims to build on his win at Down Royal earlier this month.
The five-year-old put up a stylish performance to win the the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle on his last start but has to give away 7lb to favourite Voler La Vedette as she is a mare.
Meade said: "He won well at Down Royal and everything has gone well since then, although this is obviously a tough ask for him giving weight away to the mare."