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Red looks a definite for National


Trainer Brian Ellison. Photo: PA Wire

Trainer Brian Ellison. Photo: PA Wire

Trainer Brian Ellison. Photo: PA Wire

All roads lead to Aintree for Definitly Red after he ran out a wide-margin winner of the BetBright 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 on Town Moor.

Three horses rounded the home turn in with a chance of victory, but it was clear Definitly Red had far more to give than Wakanda and Sego Success, who were being hard driven on either side of him.

Definitly Red jumped to the front with a bold leap four fences from the finish under Danny Cook and soon put daylight between himself and his rivals.

Ellison's charge 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 100-30 favourite.

Cook said: "Hopefully now all roads lead to the National. I think he's a very good horse and the question is whether he can jump round there."

Paddy Power cut Definitly Red to 16-1 from 25-1 for the Randox Health Grand National and his trainer soon confirmed the Aintree spectacular as his intended target.

"All being well, that's the plan (National). He looked good there, he's a terrific jumper and Danny gets on well with him," said Ellison.

"In the National, you need a lot of luck and if we get lucky, he could go well. "He travelled well, he jumped well. The plan wasn't to hit the front that early, but he was going so well that Danny couldn't wait.

"He's won the Rowland Meyrick and now this, which is his best result so far.

"Providing he schools well over National-style fences, he'll go to Aintree. They are building two at Malton. I can't see why he won't take to them as he is such a good jumper.

"He's a lovely horse and has a great temperament. He's class."

Sunday Indo Sport