Aintree Grand National Meeting 2011 

grand national 2011 /


Can Friend Be a National Champ for Fergie?

After What A Friend finished second in the rearranged AON Chase at Newbury last week, champion trainer Paul Nicholls suggested he was likely to fit a pair of blinkers for the eight-year-old's next outing in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

What A Friend

What A Friend

Nicholls also suggested that despite holding an entry in this year's Grand National, the Sir Alex Ferguson owned chaser was likely to bypass the event. He did however, go on to say that he believed the Alflora gelding had all the attributes that were required for a National horse and that with another year's maturity under his belt he could run a massive race at Liverpool.

As anyone who follows the World's Greatest Steeplechase will know, it's not a race for young horses, and indeed those who have experienced the daunting Aintree fences in the past tend to do far better than those coming up against them for the first time, so What A Friend may be targeted at the event in a year's time having go a little bit more experience under his belt. Although he should probably be avoided in the Aintree Grand National betting this year at this stage, he could be one for the future.

With plenty of time still to go before the Grand National, there is though time for the trainer to change his mind. Should he run well in the Gold Cup, Nicholls may decide that the horse is so well handicapped that he has to take his chance in the Aintree marathon, as he will be asked a much stiffer task in future seasons and as Grand National tips go, he isn't the worst.

As things stand though it may be best to look elsewhere for the winner.

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