Brian Ellison has chosen the William Hill-backed Premier Chase at Kelso ahead of the 888Sport Grimethorpe Chase at Doncaster for Grand National contender Definitly Red on Saturday afternoon.
Ellison has been working his way back from the famous steeplechase on April 4th for the Phil and Julie Martin-owned 11-year-old and he is of the opinion that the Kelso contest will prove to be an ideal final stepping stone before the Aintree marathon.
The trainer said: “At the moment I’m thinking Kelso. We’ll monitor the weather but I don’t want to get a hard slog into him before the National.
“We know it’s going to be heavy at Kelso but I don’t think there will be many runners. He’s in great form and I’m really happy with him. It’s all geared to the National.”
On Wednesday, the going at the Scottish Borders course was described as heavy and soft in places, however the forecast until the weekend is largely dry with a chance of rain early on Saturday morning.
Definitly Red remained in contention for the Grand National after he made it through the latest scratching stage earlier this week and he is a general 25/1 shot for the big race on 4th April.
Among the sixteen horses taken out of the Grand National on Tuesday were Cheltenham Gold Cup hopeful Delta Work, stablemate of Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll who will be bidding to win the race for the third time in succession and who will be burdened with sole topweight of 11st 10lb.