2021 National Hunt Chase third Escaria Ten has strong claims in next week’s Grand National, his owner Max McNeill believes.
The 8-year-old came second in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse when last seen, having ran a cracker off a lofty mark in the Thyestes previously.
Despite having only won three of his 12 starts under rules to date, connections believe the Gordon Elliot-trained gelding holds strong claims on Merseyside next Saturday.
“He was travelling best but got a bit lonely in front,” McNeill told the Racing Post.
“I’ve never been as nervous watching a race as him running well meant we knew we he had a live contender for the Grand National.”
Trainer Elliot has been successful in three National’s previously, including twice through the legendary Tiger Roll, who became the first horse to win the race on successive occasions since Red Rum in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The McNeill Family, however, first turn their attentions to this weekend’s meeting at Ayr when the Scottish equivalent takes place.
They are set to be represented by the Olly Murphy star, The Wolf.
“We ran The Wolf in the Edinburgh National as a trial to see if he got the trip”, McNeill admitted.
“He gave a lot of weight to the winner and put up an excellent performance to finish second.
“He’s run consistently well in three defeats this season but can be a little bit quirky and has made a few mistakes which have cost him.”