David Pipe is considering placing Umbrigado in the Grand National meeting next week, the trainer confident that he can come up trumps at the higher level. The Irish point-to-point recruit has impressed of late with three wins under rules, these being a bumper at Uttoxeter, a maiden hurdle at Southwell and also a novice at Exeter. Pipe decided against turning the runner towards the Cheltenham Festival but an appearance at Aintree for the five-year-old is a realistic possibility.
The trainer said: “Umbrigado was impressive in his bumper and last time at Exeter.
“He’s a horse we’ve thought a lot of and he’s going to have to step up again, but he warrants taking his chance in a better race.
“He might go up to Aintree, because he missed Cheltenham. He’ll be entered in the two and the two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdles.”
There is a possibility that Umbrigado might be joined at the Aintree meeting by stablemate Eden Du Houx who won bumpers at Ascot and Plumpton in December. Pipe decided against running the five-year-old in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival but instead will make a decision whether or not to take him to Aintree next week.
He said: “Eden Du Houx missed Cheltenham and he could go to Aintree or Punchestown.
“We left him out of Cheltenham. I spoke to Caroline (Tisdall, owner), and we just decided we’d wait for either Aintree or Punchestown.
“He’s had a little break and seems in good form – and has done nothing wrong this season.”