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“We knew we had a live contender for the Grand National”: McNeill Family hope for 2022 Aintree success with Escaria Ten

The likeable Escaria Ten has a big chance at Aintree, connections claim

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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.

WATCH: ESCARIA TEN AND ANY SECOND NOW WILL LOCK HORNS AGAIN AT AINTREE AFTER THEIR EXCELLENT FAIRYHOUSE TUSSLE [CREDIT: RACING TV]

“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.”

T3509E AINTREE, Liverpool, UK. 6th Apr, 2019. Tiger Roll winner of the 2019 Randox Grand National ridden by D N Russell. He becomes the first horse to since Red Rum 45 years ago to win the hurdles event race back-to-back. 40 runners, 30 fences and more than four-and-a-quarter miles, the National is the ultimate test for horses and riders.
Can Escaria Ten emulate Cullentra hero, Tiger Roll?

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.

National Hunt racing trainer Olly Murphy
Warren Chase and Olly Murphy chase Scottish Grand National glory this Saturday

“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.”

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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