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“THAT WAS ALWAYS THE TARGET”: Gentleman At Arms to be aimed at 2022 Grand National Festival

Stuart Edmunds’ confirms his duel Huntingdon victor Gentleman At Arms will head for the Grand National Festival

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2CBFGBG Oisin Murphy riding Iron Heart (left) wins The Kevin Hall & Pat Boakes Memorial Handicap from Jim Crowley and Gentleman At Arms in a two horse race at Salisbury Racecourse, Wiltshire.

Gentleman At Arms will test his Graded hurdle potential at the upcoming Grand National Festival, his handler Stuart Edmunds has confirmed.

The Reliable Man gelding has made a fine start to life over timber following his flat excursions for Henry Dunlop, finishing second in both the Leamington and Sidney Banks, respectively, with facile Huntingdon successes sandwiching these silver medal efforts.

WATCH: GENTLEMAN AT ARMS BRUSHES ASIDE A SMALL FIELD AT HUNTINGDON UNDER CIARAN GETHINGS [CREDIT: RACING TV]

And while Cheltenham was deemed too classy an affair at this stage of the five-year-old’s career, he will make the trek to Liverpool in just under two weeks’ time as he bids to give connections Grade 1 glory.

“He came out of his race well and he will be aimed at one of the novice hurdles at Aintree,” Edmunds told At The Races.

2F7X7ET Harry Skelton celebrates winning the Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle on My Drogo during Grand National Day of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday April 10, 2021.
My Drogo won last season’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle

“He’s in good form and that is the target, it always was the target.

“The owners were away for Cheltenham and I didn’t think we were good enough to go there anyway. Hopefully, as we are going to Aintree with a fresh horse, he will stand a better chance against those good horses.”

2F7YY2F Horse Racing - Grand National Festival - Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Britain - April 10, 2021 Jockey Megan Nicholls celebrates after winning the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race riding Knappers Hill Pool via REUTERS/Peter Powell
The Grand National Festival kickstarts on Thursday 7th April

Out of Sworn Sold, the gelding has ran over two-and-a-half miles or just over on his recent four outings but the Buckinghamshire chief will not be offput by the potential of stepping his charge up to three miles.

“We’ll enter him in both [Mersey and Sefton], if the ground came very soft we may consider the two-and-a-half but I think the three-miler could bring out the most improvement for him,” he added.

“I don’t think three miles holds any problems for him.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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