Grand National - At The Races

Tom George plots hunter chase route for Grand National third Saint Are

    Tom George is considering taking the hunter chase route with Saint Are next season ahead of a fifth outing in the Grand National.
  • Sunday 09 April 2017
  • News

Tom George is considering taking the hunter chase route with Saint Are next season ahead of a fifth outing in the Grand National.

The 11-year-old, who was runner-up to Many Clouds two years ago, finished an admirable third on his fourth attempt.

George said: "Saint Are put up a good show and has run a great race. I suppose he would have preferred the ground to have been a little bit better as Davy Russell said he was never properly travelling."

He added: "Davy realised he had to pull something out of the bag to win it. He took the short route at Becher's Brook and saved a lot of ground all the way through.

"He has stayed on very well at the end to get third and the horse has come back in one piece. This has been his target all year.

"He looked good in the build-up to the race and he looked amazing on the day with the sun shining on him in the paddock.

"He will go and have his summer break now but I see no reason why he shouldn't have another go. Big Fella Thanks, who is 15, showed that age is just a number when running well in the Foxhunters' on Thursday.

"To be honest, I've not discussed it with the owner where we would start him yet but it dawned on me last night that it might be worth going down the hunter chase route next season.

"He didn't win any races this year so he should be eligible for hunter chase races next season. He will need a couple of runs before the National and that might be an easier route for him."

George also saddled Double Shuffle, who was pulled up before the second-last.

"I think it was a case of his stamina not kicking in. He is only a young horse and I am not sure whether the National is what he is about," the trainer added.

"He is almost out of handicaps now as he is rated 152. He might be the sort of horse to start off in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby as he has got that bit of class.

"He will improve for another summer on his back."

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