Josef Vana: has won the race eight times as a jockey and nine as a trainer
Vana in pole position for tenth Pardubicka
Preview: Czech Republic, Saturday 3.25pm (BST)
Pardubice: Velka Pardubicka 6yo+, 4m2½f cross country
LEGENDARY Czech jockey Josef Vana, who turns 60 next Saturday, bids to win a fourth successive Velka Pardubicka this Saturday on Tiumen, whom he also trains.
Tiumen meets credible opponents from both England and Ireland in Maljimar, Uncle Junior and Doctor Pat but is priced no bigger than 2-1 by British bookmakers, despite having won the four-and-a-quarter mile cross-country chase by just half a length a year ago, and by only a nose the year before.
Vana, who has won the idiosyncratic race eight times as a jockey, is seeking a tenth win as a trainer and saddles five runners including 2008 winner Sixteen and Belmont, who will be ridden by his son, also Josef.
Uncle Junior, a cross-country winner at Cheltenham and Punchestown last season for Willie Mullins, is the pick of the Anglo-Irish trio on form. He is available at 7-1 with bet365 and BetVictor but is shorter elsewhere.
He has arrived in the Czech republic in good form and his rider Emmet Mullins said: "I've walked the track and the fences are plenty big enough, but they are fair. It's the ditches that will catch you out. I've ridden my lad at two of the bigger French tracks over the summer and he should handle this."
Doctor Pat, formerly successful for Francois Doumen, gained his latest win in a point-to-point and is saddled by cross-country specialist Enda Bolger.
Veteran Maljimar represents Nick Williams and James Reveley, for whom he won the Grand Steeplechase de Fontainebleau in April.
Reveley said: "He needed his last run at Craon after a summer break and he'll have come on for that. He's in good form, and I'm really looking forward to my first ride in the race."