One of the major omissions from Nicky Henderson’s list of big-race triumphs remains the Grand National, however the impressive performance of Ok Corral at Doncaster last weekend has resulted in the trainer having serious talks with owner JP McManus regarding a possible appearance for the runner at Aintree on April 4th.
OK Corral struggled in an incident-packed National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last March, however he produced a vastly improved performance under Irish amateur Derek O’Connor to defy top weight on Saturday afternoon.
Henderson heaped praise on O’Connor’s ride with the trainer now of the opinion that the ten-year-old has earned a crack at the 2020 Randox Health Grand National in less than ten week’s time.
The trainer said: “I thought it was a good performance and Derek gave him a beautiful ride. He saved every inch and that had a lot to do with him winning the race. He had a dream run round. He doesn’t have an enormous amount of experience but he’s a good jumper and the National has got to be on the shortlist.
“He enjoyed being smuggled round like that and I think he needs to go left-handed. He never knew he was in a race.”
OK Corral doesn’t possess the chasing experience of typical Grand National contenders, however both McManus and Henderson are of the opinion that he has the requisite class and stamina for the famous steeplechase, despite being relatively lightly raced due to a series of interruptions throughout his career.
Henderson continued: “We’ve got a lot of thinking to do but he is ten. He hasn’t got a lot of miles on the clock because when he was a young horse he was very hard to train.
“It would be one run and he’d go and win and you’d think ‘this is good’ and then he would be lame again and another issue would come up. Touch wood he’s had a good run in and he is 100 per cent this morning.
“We’ve got to be thinking seriously about the National anyway.”
Ok Corral is an ante-post price of 40/1 to win the 2020 Randox Health Grand National.