Canelo and Senior Citizen have Aintree dress-rehearsals on Saturday

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March 5

We enjoyed a wonderful Saturday last week-end with Tritonic at Kempton, and Alan is hoping we might carry our good form over into March and have further reason to celebrate at Newbury and Doncaster on Saturday.

Assessing our quintet of runners, Alan said:”Canelo has his prep-run for the Grand National in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster, and he ran another sound race in the Sky Bet there last time. He is in good form and progressing well.

“The ground is unlikely to be as soft as when he won the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby over Christmas, but, though all the jockeys tell me that he loves a mudbath, I have always felt that he was a good ground horse so am not concerned about the prospect of drying conditions.”

Our other big gun for the National fences at Aintree is Senior Citizen, who is being aimed at the Topham Trophy up there, and he has his dress-rehearsal  in the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury. Alan said: “He looked to really enjoy his first experience of those big fences in the Grand Sefton, in which he travelled and jumped beautifully, so we are all looking forward to April.

“After the Sefton, he enjoyed a proper winter break and he has been pleasing me in his build-up at home. I think two and a half miles on goodish ground here will suit him well.

Dino Velvet also runs at Newbury in the handicap hurdle, and, having run well to be third at Wincanton last time on ground he would not have liked, he’ll be much happier on this drier track which should also suit his strengths better.”

And, summing up our other two runners on Town Moor, Alan said:”Wynn House runs in the Listed mares novice hurdle, She won her first two over hurdles and then ran a good fourth behind the boys in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham, where the ground was soft enough for her. Improved underfoot conditions here would suit her better.

Ballywood runs in the two-mile chase and I am hoping for better from him now that he has had his wind operation. He was not getting home earlier in the season but the surgery will, hopefully, have helped, and he is yet another who will appreciate this drying ground. He should also be all the better for his run in a jumpers bumper at Kempton, where he was very fresh after his break and was in front far too soon.”

Finally, we have one runner on Sunday, Grosvenor Court in the bumper at Huntingdon. He was runner-up in a similar race at Kempton last month on his first run for nearly a year, and Alan thinks he is a horse with a lot of potential.