David and Patricia Thompson snap up leading National contender Highland Lodge

Fri 31 Mar 2017

David and Patricia Thompson, the owners of Cheveley Park Stud, have purchased leading Randox Health Grand National contender Highland Lodge.

The news comes just days after the Thompsons acquired the Paul Nicholls-trained Le Mercurey, as they try to win the Aintree spectacular for a second time following Party Politics in 1992, who was also bought in the week of the great race.

Highland Lodge is in the care of Cartmel-based Jimmy Moffatt and won the Becher Chase over the big fences last season, before finding only current National favourite Vieux Lion Rouge a short-head too good in the defence of his crown in December.

Moffatt said: "The deal went through today. The horse is in great form and passed a two-hour medical on Thursday - the vet thought he looked tremendous and it's very exciting to train for Mr and Mrs Thompson.

"Simon and Julie (Wilson) have sold him outright. They have been with me since 2006 and have been wonderfully supportive. They wish Mr and Mrs Thompson all the luck in the world. Both parties are very happy.

"I think the world of him and his back-to-back Becher form looks rock solid."

Henry Brooke will retain the ride, and Moffatt added: "Mr and Mrs Thompson are delighted to secure the services of our big-race jockey. The horse is straightforward, touch wood he is great but we can't get carried away, we've got a job to do between now and then.

"He's done all his major work."

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