Brian Ellison is expected to run Definitly Red over hurdles prior to being aimed at the 2020 Randox Health Grand National in less than thirteen week’s time. The Malton-based trainer is reportedly delighted with the staying steeplechaser who defied his weight of 11st 10lb to finish in fourth position under Henry Brooke in the over-three-mile Becher Chase at Aintree last month.
Ellison said: “We’re busy planning for the National. He ran very well in the Becher – he jumped like a cat and stayed on at the end.
“He had 11st 10lb while the winner Walk In The Mill, whose a good horse, had 10st 8lb. I don’t have any qualms about him getting the four-and-a-quarter-mile trip in the big race.”
Nevertheless the trainer is taking care not to compromise Definitly Red’s handicap mark over steeplechase fences before the National weights are published next month, therefore he is considering other options over hurdles between now and mid-February.
He has confirmed that an appearance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup isn’t one of the options which he is currently considering, however he has stated that he is looking at perhaps two runs prior to the 2020 Grand National.
Definitly Red is now an 11-year-old although he remains a hugely popular runner in the north of England and is a 33/1 shot to win this year’s renewal of the famous steeplechase on April 4th.