Nacarat primed for Roan raid
Friday 26 October 2012
Tom George is looking forward to seeing Nacarat test his powers back at a shorter trip in the Betfred Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree on Saturday.
The 11-year-old claimed his one and only Grade One victory in the 2011 totesport Bowl at Aintree and has run some of his very best races at the Merseyside track.
He showed he retains plenty of enthusiasm when winning last season's Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and while he has not run over less than three miles for almost three years, his trainer believes it could play to the strengths of the front-running grey.
"We're very much looking forward to dropping back in trip. It will be quite interesting to see how he gets on and it might even suit him better these days," said George.
"Paddy (Brennan) has been riding him for the last couple of years and he has been saying for a while he'd like to see him back over two and a half miles, so we'll see what happens. The ground is right for him and he likes the track, of course.
"He's fresh and well and while I'm sure he'll come on for the run a touch and he's not getting any younger, he's done plenty of work and been away for a gallop.
"We want to have another crack at the King George. We know he loves Kempton and I think he'd have been placed last year if we hadn't run him three weeks before. We couldn't go for the King George without having run for six months, so tomorrow's race is a nice place to start him off."
Heading the weights for the Grade Two limited handicap is the Philip Hobbs-trained Wishfull Thinking, the mount of Richard Johnson. The nine-year-old enjoyed a fantastic novice campaign a couple of seasons ago, but his form was in-and-out last term.
"I'm happy with Wishfull Thinking at home, very much so. He has won at the track before and seems in good form. He wouldn't want the ground too soft, but it doesn't look like it's going to be that, so fingers crossed," said Hobbs.
The Minehead handler has an interesting second string to his bow in the shape of Gauvain, a 10-year-old who showed high-class form for Nick Williams last season before switching yards at the Doncaster Sales in late May. Hobbs said: "Gauvain seems to be going well at home. It's a good place to start him off."