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Star hurdler Self Sense could have Cheltenham on his agenda next year

Cheltenham: could welcome an Australian raider next year
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In-form galloper Self Sense is set to start as one of the shortest-priced favourites in Grand National Hurdle history, but there's even more on the line for the star jumper than victory in Sunday's A$250,000 feature.

Speculation has been rife that the Street Sense gelding could be set to race overseas next year, including at Cheltenham, and when questioned trainer David Brideoake didn't pour cold water on the suggestion.

"Yes there has been some talk, not from me, but people have certainly been asking me about it," said Brideoake.

"The world is this horse's oyster, he's fast and has great stamina but we'll just wait and see."

The Mornington trainer has extensive previous international experience as an Australian show-jumper, and proclaimed he has no concerns about the prospect of travelling a runner overseas.

"The transportation system is so well organised these days that I'm 100 per cent confident in the process," he said.

"I have been there plenty of times before so know how it works."

But Brideoake was quick to add the prospect of an overseas trip is still a long way off, with the Grand National the immediate focus.

"We'll just get through Sunday and then re-examine and we'll then probably have a good idea of what's next by Wednesday," he said.

"He's been up since January this preparation so he probably needs a break but he's loving his racing and there's a lot of options so we'll just re-examine after the National."

The versatile galloper will be on an eight-day back-up on Sunday, after an impressive victory on the flat at Caulfield last weekend.

"He's come through that race very well, physically and mentally he's in the best form of his career," he said.

The eight-year-old will again carry the top-weight, slugging 69kg in the 4200-metre (2m5f) Grand National, but Brideoake says it's a worthy penalty.

"If I was the handicapper that's probably what I'd give him too, his form suggests he'll cope with it," he said.

"He's never run the distance though, so that is the real question mark, whether he stays the trip."

From his past seven starts, Self Sense has won five and finished second twice, including three victories from three attempts over the hurdles.

Sunday bodes as a fairytale finish for not only the horse and his trainer but also jockey Clayton Douglas, who again retains the jumps ride.

"Credit to the lad, he has been aboard Self Sense ever since he saw his first fence and has put in a lot of effort with his developmental training," Brideoake said.

"He's stayed loyal this whole campaign so we're very grateful and can't wait for Sunday."

We'll just get through Sunday and then re-examine and we'll then probably have a good idea of what's next by Wednesday
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