• Jonjo O’Neill hopes Cloth Cap will be a contender for 2020 National

    Trainer Jonjo O’Neill is hopeful that Cloth Cap will continue to progress over jumps and become a contender for the 2020 Grand National on April 4th. O’Neill triumphed in the 2010 renewal of the famous steeplechase with ‘Don’t Push It’ and he believes that the seven-year-old gives him an excellent chance of grabbing a second win in the race.

    There can be little doubt that the Trevor Hemmings-owned runner possesses stamina in abundance with a third-place finish in the Scottish National at Ayr earlier this year, this coming on the back of wins at Catterick and Stratford.

    Jonjo said: “He is hopefully going to start at either Chepstow or Wetherby in a couple of weeks. He has come back good and I’m very happy with him.

    “Obviously Trevor would like him to be a Grand National horse and so would we, but he needs to win a few races to get into that bracket.

    “We would give him a run in one of those two races, then maybe go to Ascot for the Sodexo Gold Cup.

    “He is unassuming horse and would never do anything flashy at home, but he is a grand, honest horse. He jumped grand in the Scottish National.”

    Cloth Cap’s best performances have been on softer ground and as such O’Neill will be looking to avoid running him in more testing conditions.

    “I’d say he wants the ground quicker and that would be the only thing we have to keep an eye on through the winter”, he added.

    “Last year they were watering tracks in January and February, so we will have to play it by ear. “

    Tickets for the Grand National have been selling extremely fast with all main stands and terraces sold out, the exception being the Festival Zone for which there are a few tickets still waiting to be snapped up.