Russell says One For Arthur is back on song and could head straight to Aintree
5.15 Aintree, April 6
Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase | 4m2½f | Grade 3 | ITV/RTV
Tony Martin, trainer of Anibale Fly
He ran very well there last year but the priority at the moment is just to get him out at the weekend and then take it from there. Both Cheltenham and Aintree are options for him again.
Joe Tizzard, assistant to Colin Tizzard, trainer of Elegant Escape, Sizing Codelco, Royal Vacation, The Dutchman and Ultragold
We hope Ultragold will get in. He's one we're really keen to run as he's won the last two Tophams and he got three-miles-five last time. He's been to Cheltenham both times he has won the Topham so perhaps he ought to have a run. Elegant Escape is going to go for the Gold Cup and then we'll decide, but he ticks a lot of boxes for it. Royal Vacation is a Grade 1 winner who stays particularly well and is back in seriously good form.
Nicky Henderson, trainer of Valtor and Kilcrea Vale
We took Valtor at Ascot just to have a look and see but he won by a big margin. That wasn't very clever and something then went wrong at Cheltenham. It will be a long road to get to the National.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of Black Corton, Warriors Tale and Give Me A Copper
Black Corton is not confirmed yet but [co-owner] Andy Stewart is very keen for him to run. Warriors Tale won the Grand Sefton in December and the ground will be important to him. If it's soft he'll definitely go over the shorter trip. The one I'm really interested in of mine is Give Me A Copper. He's not the obvious one but has a lot of ability. He's unexposed, he ran really well on his first start back last time and now goes to the Ultima at Cheltenham. If he goes well there he'll go on to Aintree, where he has a proper weight.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Pleasant Company, Rathvinden, Total Recall, Acapella Bourgeois, Pairofbrowneyes, Some Neck, Up For Review, Livelovelaugh, Polidam and Isleofhopendreams
I was delighted with the way Pleasant Company ran last year and the Grand National has been the number one plan for him. We’ve been waiting for the ground for Rathvinden but he'll have to run somewhere, probably in the Leinster National at Naas. Up For Review ran a real nice race in the Thyestes. I thought it was a fantastic trial for the Grand National. Livelovelaugh ran a great race at Leopardstown the other day over two miles and five furlongs. He could get in and run a nice race off bottom weight going up in trip. I wonder if Total Recall's racing nature is too free for him to win a Grand National? I have to get Acapella Bourgeois back on track. He's had his problems but is in great order and could be anything. I was disappointed with Some Neck the other day. Pairofbrowneyes still has to qualify.
Lucinda Russell, trainer of One For Arthur
I remember saying everything had gone perfectly on the way to the race in 2017. This time I've had my comeuppance. Nothing seems to have gone smoothly and two unseats have not been ideal. Having said that, I think we have him right at home now and he's coming back to himself physically. We can't go to Haydock on Saturday now but he could still go to Kelso at the start of March. That is ground-dependent, though, and we've decided with his owners the Two Golf Widows that if he has to go straight to Aintree it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
Grahame Whateley, joint-owner of Rock The Kasbah
The Grand National is very much the plan. After his run at Cheltenham in December we sent him away for a holiday, but he has been back with Philip Hobbs for two to three weeks and he'll now go straight to the National because he always runs better when fresh. He definitely won't be running at Cheltenham.
Warren Greatrex, trainer of Missed Approach
His whole season has been built around the National. He finished sixth in the Becher after missing the break but jumped well and did everything right. He won the Kim Muir and finished second in the four-miler the year before, so he probably ticks a lot of boxes off a low weight. He's in the Eider but I would say the Premier Chase at Kelso is a more likely target, after which it will be straight to Aintree.
Sue Smith, trainer of Vintage Clouds
We’re keeping our fingers crossed he gets a run. He's in terrific form and could go for the Grimthorpe at Doncaster or the Ultima at Cheltenham. The ground stopped him at Chepstow last time but I think he'll take to Aintree and jump the fences.
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