Grand National News
National service beckons for De Rasher Counter
Emma Lavelle is hopeful of aiming De Rasher Counter at the 2022 Grand National on April 9th.
The nine-year-old was a well-deserved winner in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury two years ago, this particular contest a stepping stone for the Grand National for many runners in recent years. Since then he has contested just three races with a fourth-place finish at Cheltenham just a few weeks after his Newbury triumph and a pull-up in a subsequent appearance in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last year. At the start of last season he finished second over hurdles but has been out of action since then due to a tendon injury.
Lavelle now has the son of four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats back at her stables in Wiltshire and the trainer is hoping to negotiate a possible route to the showpiece event at the 2022 Grand National meeting on 9th April. At the time of writing, De Rasher Counter can be backed at an ante-post price of 66/1 with several leading Grand National bookmakers.
At the top level, Emma Lavelle has tasted success with Paisley Park, however she would clearly love to get a Grand National victory under her belt. De Rasher Counter may become her second runner in the famous steeplechase, sole entry Court By Surprise having been pulled up at the 18th in the 2015 Grand National.
The trainer said: “He came back in yesterday and it is hugely exciting having him back in. He has been in Wales trotting up hills hardening his legs off having picked up an injury last season.
“The plan for this season will be geared around the Grand National. We will scan his legs when he comes back in and if everything is all right we will be able to start cantering with him.
“He will have a decent level of fitness from what he has been doing. If the ground is not bottomless hopefully we can start him in January and have a couple of runs before the National.
“I think we will keep all options open and I’m not saying we won’t run him over hurdles but it think it will depend where the races are, what the ground is like and what makes sense. Everything will work back from the Grand National though.
“The ground in the Cotswold Chase was bottomless and he is a lovely moving horse and he probably doesn’t want it like that. We had to have a crack at it to see what the right route was.
“The Ladbrokes Trophy is a competitive handicap and they put a lot into running in races like that. He was a progressive novice the season before that and the Ladbrokes probably took more out of him than we gave him credit for.”