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Synchronised bides his time for Aintree tilt

Synchronised, which completed the National set for AP McCoy on Saturday when landing the re-staged Welsh National, is very unlikely to be entered in this year's Aintree showpiece.

After reporting that the eight-year-old home-bred had come out of the race very well, JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said that connections would wait before making any plans and that, given the gelding's penchant for testing going, they would be influenced by the weather.

He added: "The general feeling is that is that he would want another year. He's doing well but he's inexperienced. That was only his fifth chase. There's nothing like a bit of mileage and experience for Aintree. He has his own technique when it comes to jumping and over that trip and ground he has plenty of time, but on better ground he wouldn't find it so easy."

In that respect, the winning reappearance in a Wincanton novice hurdle by Donald McCain's Kim Muir winner Ballabriggs may have a more immediate impact on the National. McCain plans to give the 10-year-old another run over hurdles and wait for the weights to be published in February.


Marsh Warbler fired Brian Ellison into the big time after his victory in Chepstow's Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle. Fearghal Davis made sure he was always prominent aboard Marsh Warbler, and he went on to beat Houblon Des Obeaux by two and three-quarter lengths.

"He loved the soft ground," said Davis. "Brian is a great man, he really likes this fellow."

At Sandown, the conveyor belt of talent at Nicky Henderson's yard was in evidence again as the heavily-backed Minella Class (6/4 favourite) ran away with the Grade One 32red Hurdle, better known as the Tolworth Hurdle.

"We knew from his form in Ireland he'd experienced these conditions before. He stayed and quickened up tidily for Barry (Geraghty). He'll make a lovely chaser, but that's for another day," said Henderson. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent