Bookies on Red alert for Aintree as Ellison looks to the National
Definitly Red has his connections dreaming of Grand National glory after he ran out a wide-margin winner of Saturday's Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster.
An impressive winner of the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on St Stephen's Day before parting company with his rider in the Peter Marsh at Haydock, Brian Ellison's charge was a 7/2 chance for this recognised Grand National trial at Town Moor.
Three horses rounded the home turn in with a chance, but it was clear Definitly Red had far more to give than Wakanda and Sego Success, jumping to the front with a bold leap four fences from the finish and soon putting daylight between himself and his rivals.
Danny Cook's ride safely negotiated the remaining obstacles and came home with 14 lengths in hand over last year's Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri, who was the 10/3 favourite having won 12 months ago from a 12lb lower mark.
Paddy Power cut Definitly Red to 14/1 from 25/1 for the National and his trainer soon confirmed the Aintree showpiece as his intended target.
Ellison said: "Providing he schools well over National-style fences, he'll go to Aintree. I can't see why he won't take to them as he is such a good jumper."
Ginger McCain was an Aintree legend and the late trainer had a hand in the finish of the BetBright Mares' Novices' Hurdle as Lastbutnotleast (2/1), the final horse he purchased, triumphed in colours similar to those of triple National hero Red Rum.
The seven-year-old - given a confident ride by stable jockey William Kennedy - is trained by his son Donald, who said: "I don't get excited about much nowadays, but I did then, the breeding, the name and the colours."