Saturday 24 February 2018

Tranquil tackles National fences

Tranquil Sea
Tranquil Sea

Grade One winner Tranquil Sea takes on the big Grand National fences at Aintree for the first time in the Betfred 'Goals Galore' Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.

Edward O'Grady's charge made no impression behind Master Minded in the Melling Chase over the regulation fences on his only other visit to the track.

The 10-year-old has already had a run this season, when last of five in the Clonmel Oil Chase behind Sizing Europe, and has to carry second top-weight, with just Nacarat ahead of him. Robert Thornton will be in the plate.

Nacarat will be trying to make it second-time lucky over the National fences. The 11-year-old ran in the Topham Chase over the famous obstacles in 2008 but got no further than the sixth fence, when his exuberant jumping proved his undoing.

Trainer Tom George has not repeated the experiment since but Nacarat, winner of the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton in February, enjoyed arguably his finest hour at Aintree when winning the Grade One Betfred Bowl over the regulation fences in 2011.

Nacarat failed to sparkle when only sixth on his return in the Old Roan Chase in October and while the soft ground is not ideal, George believes his charge may be able to operate in the prevailing conditions.

The trainer said: "I think he will love the fences. He's been there once before and it didn't really go to plan as he was a faller. I think both the jockey (Tony Dobbin) and the horse got a bit overexcited that day and he should be a lot wiser now.

"The ground wouldn't be ideal but it should be wet, fresh ground, which he can jump out of, not sticky ground, so I don't think it will be as big a problem as some people think."

Gansey hit the bar in a Listed event at Wetherby last time, while Carrickboy, Chance Du Roy, Little Josh, Rebel Du Maquis, Rio Gael, Blackstaff and Cerium complete the 10-strong field.

Press Association

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section