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Discorama connections hopeful of Grand National appearance

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Discorama connections hopeful of Grand National appearance


Connections of Discorama are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the weights for the 2022 Randox Grand National which will be made on Tuesday 15th February. The runner finished in seventh position behind Minella Times in last year’s Aintree showpiece, this being his first outing for five months due to a wind operation.

The gelding gave an impressive performance in his Aintree prep when beaten by one length by Full Time Score on Wednesday at Fairyhouse. This was his first contest since October 2021 and handler Paul Nolan will be keeping his fingers crossed that his lightly-raced runner will be able to book a place at Aintree in around eight weeks time.

The Thomas Friel and Andrew Gemmell-owned horse has finished runner-up in all-but-five of his twelve starts over fences.

Trainer Nolan said: “It is a bit frustrating as he has only won two races in his life and he is nine years of age. He has run so many good races but he always seems to find a way of getting beaten. Yesterday it was only a length and he was very unlucky. He was unlucky at Galway last year, too.

“But he still ran very well and it was encouraging to see. He has come out of it well. The wind op seems to be working, as it was a last-car-on-the-road job.”

Discorama came third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham two years ago and there remains a possibility that he will return to the festival next month. Nevertheless his main target is the Aintree showpiece event in April.

Nolan continued: “We will see what happens – the weights are out for the Grand National on Tuesday and we will see what sort of a chance he has of getting into that. He didn’t do himself any harm yesterday, but it is hard to know what the handicapper will do, especially when a horse gets to a certain age.

“Blaklion (a then-12-year-old) was a place in front of him at Aintree. They dropped him 10lb this season and he has won two chases since. It all depends on how the handicapper assesses it.

“There will be other horses coming up through the handicap that would maybe be higher-rated than him. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday, but the plan will be to go to Aintree if he gets in. We will then make our mind up about Cheltenham.”