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Lucinda Russell aiming for Becher Chase glory with Mighty Thunder
Grand National-winning handler Lucinda Russell is aiming for more success over the famous Aintree fences with Mighty Thunder on Saturday, 4th December.
Lucinda Russell is no stranger to success over the National fences having triumphed in the world’s greatest steeplechase with One For Arthur back in 2017 and she will now be sending 2021 Scottish Grand National hero Mighty Thunder over the fences for the Becher Chase on 4th December.
Having triumphed at Ayr in April, Mighty Thunder made a seasonal return when finishing fourth behind Fusil Raffles in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby late last month. This run should have the eight-year-old spot-on for the Becher a week on Saturday, a race in which he is available at best odds of 12/1 with several leading bookmakers and tying for favouritism with Escaria Ten and Kimberlite Candy.
Russell said: “I’m very pleased with him and he needed the run at Wetherby, where he ran better than expected and we are now preparing him for the Becher Chase.
“He had an easy time afterwards and has had a harder week this week as we continue to build him up. We will school him over some National-type fences at home to see how he goes.
“The Becher Chase to some extent might be short enough for him but we are really going there to see if he takes to the fences.”
Mighty Thunder, who also triumphed in the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh last season, is also set to be aimed at the Randox Grand National on 9th April, however his handler wasn’t always convinced that the would be happy over fences.
She added: “He had a really good season considering in September we thought he might not jump a fence.
“He made great strides through the season and those marathon tests seemed to really suit him.
“I think once we knew he stayed four miles you had to look at all the Nationals. He is a horse that has the right temperament for it and the ability for it and if he likes Aintree and takes to the fences that will be fantastic.
“He ran a great race at Musselburgh in the four-mile chase there and it was a really good effort in the Midlands National (when finishing the one length runner-up to Time To Get Up).
“It was brilliant for the yard to win the Scottish Grand National and that really rounded off a special season for us.
“Plenty of horses we train are staying chasers and owners love to have a runner in the Grand National and hopefully he can be another.”