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Big Fella gets set for National with Newbury outing

Keith Hamer

Published 18/02/2013 | 14:33

BIG FELLA THANKS is set to have his prep run for Aintree at Newbury on Saturday week.

Trainer Tom George has had the Stan James Supporting the Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase over two and a half miles in mind since the 11-year-old won at Wincanton early last month.

Big Fella Thanks has been a regular at Aintree over the years running in three Grand Nationals, finishing seventh, fourth and sixth, and he was third in the Becher Chase in December.

Although Big Fella Thanks holds an entry in the John Smith's Grand National, George will also put him in the Topham Chase at the same meeting as he feels the handicapper has given him too much weight (11st 2lb) in the big one.

"We're going to run him at Newbury a week on Saturday in the two-mile four chase there," the Slad handler told At The Races.

"That has been his target since he won at Wincanton and then he will have two entries up at Aintree after that, the Topham and the National, and we will make our mind up nearer the time what he will run in.

"He's got 11st 2lb in the National which I thought was quite harsh for a horse that has been beaten in it a couple of times.

"We can't do anything about that now and just try to have him fit and well for the meeting and work out which race to run him in."

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