Grand National News
Crabbie's Grand National

Newland Aiming for Aintree with Pineau De Re
Monday 10th March 2014

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Dr Richard Newland is hoping to saddle his first runner in the Grand National, with Pineau De Re being prepared for a tilt at the £1-million event on Saturday, April 5.

Pineau De Re
© Racehorse Photos
Sire De Grugy

The 11-year-old used to be trained in Ireland and joined Newland following an impressive 23-length success in the three and a half mile Ulster National at Downpatrick in April, 2013.

It took Pineau De Re nine attempts to get off the mark for his new handler, but he did so in style with a facile five-length victory in a veterans’ handicap chase at Exeter on January 14.

He had previously produced some encouraging performances, including when fifth in a Listed handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in November, but failed to complete on his first start over Aintree’s unique Grand National course when falling at the eighth fence in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase in December.

Newland said: “The Crabbie’s Grand National is the aim for Pineau De Re. All being well, he is going to run at Cheltenham in the Pertemps Network Hurdle (Thursday, March 13) and after that it will be on to Aintree if we are in one piece.

“His preparation has gone very well. He had a couple of weeks freshening up after Exeter and has been in good, solid work for the last four or five weeks. He also had a racecourse gallop last week, so he is well on track.

“Prior to Exeter, he had run some good races without winning but we were keen to win one so he would go up a few pounds and get in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

“I think we are pretty much guaranteed a run, but it’s going to be much tighter this year than it has been in previous years. He is 49th on the list with a rating of 143, so you would think he will get in.

“I thought his jumping would be suited to the Grand National and I was obviously surprised when he went to the Becher Chase and came down. But it was a soft fall – he slithered on landing – and Brian Hughes, who rode him, said that he was taking to it and encouraged me to go back.

“As far as staying is concerned, I’m not quite sure. He has improved as a stayer, but needs to be ridden quite patiently to do so. He is a strong traveller and I don’t think you ever know if they are going to get four and a half miles until they do, but he’s worth a try at the trip.

“We will probably withdraw our other entry Mart Lane, but Pineau De Re will be our first runner in the Grand National and it’s very exciting for the whole team.”

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