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2022 Grand National on the cards for De Rasher Counter
Emma Lavelle is looking to aim the returning De Rasher Counter towards the 2022 Randox Grand National on April 9th.
Nine-year-old De Rasher Counter was a determined and somewhat gutsy winner in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury back in 2019, this contest being a stepping stone for the Grand National for many previous entries. Nevertheless he has only made three appearances since then, finishing in fourth position at Cheltenham just a couple of months following his success at Newbury and subsequently being pulled up at Uttoxeter in the 2020 Midlands Grand National.
The Lavelle runner finished second over hurdles early last season but since then he has been out of action due to a tendon injury. The son of Ascot Gold Cup four-time winner Yeats is now back at Lavelle’s base in Wiltshire and the trainer is busy plotting a route to the showpiece event at Aintree in April for which the runner is currently best ante-post odds of 66/1.
Top level success for Lavelle has chiefly been with Paisley Park, however she would love to taste success in the Grand National, something which has eluded her thus far. She will be hoping that De Rasher Counter will be her second entry in the famous steeplechase, previous entry Court By Surprise pulled up at the 18th in the 2015 contest.
Lavelle said: “He came back in yesterday and it is hugely exciting having him back in. He has been in Wales trotting up hills hardening his legs off having picked up an injury last season.
“The plan for this season will be geared around the Grand National. We will scan his legs when he comes back in and if everything is all right we will be able to start cantering with him.
“He will have a decent level of fitness from what he has been doing. If the ground is not bottomless hopefully we can start him in January and have a couple of runs before the National.
“I think we will keep all options open and I’m not saying we won’t run him over hurdles but it think it will depend where the races are, what the ground is like and what makes sense. Everything will work back from the Grand National though.
“The ground in the Cotswold Chase was bottomless and he is a lovely moving horse and he probably doesn’t want it like that. We had to have a crack at it to see what the right route was.
“The Ladbrokes Trophy is a competitive handicap and they put a lot into running in races like that. He was a progressive novice the season before that and the Ladbrokes probably took more out of him than we gave him credit for.”