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Possible Exeter appearance for Grand National hope Snow Leopardess
Charlie Longsdon-trained Snow Leopardess may be heading into the Listed Virgin Bet Mares’ Chase at Exeter this weekend as she looks to boost her rating and improve the chances of her appearing in the 2022 Randox Grand National on 9th April.
Snow Leopardess triumphed in an exciting renewal of the Aintree Becher Chase in December 2021, the mare holding firm to win by a nose ahead of Hill Sixteen at the end of the three-and-a-quarter mile contest over the National course. Following that impressive showing her rating was increased to 147, however while that mark would likely have earned her a place in the 2022 Grand National, collateral form resulted in the handicapper subsequently adjusting this figure to 145.
This was the rating for the lowest-ranked horses in the 2021 Grand National and as such, this would leave Snow Leopardess on the cusp of qualifying for the big race when the official weights are announced on Tuesday.
Longsdon had initially been planning a run over hurdles in a bid to protect the mare’s 147 rating but given that she has been dropped by 2 lb, he is instead looking at aiming her over fences at Exeter on Sunday in order to boost her chances of making the field for the Grand National.
The trainer said: “The plan is, if there’s enough rain, that she’ll go to the mares’ chase at Exeter on Sunday.
“I’ve spoken to the handicapper, who thinks that we might just get into the National off a mark of 145, but we might not, so that’s why he’s encouraging us to run again.
“Bottom weight was 145 last year and he’ll know more than us. We’ll look at it later in the week and we don’t want to mess about with her mark if we think we’ll get in, but he’s saying we’ll probably have to run her one more time.
“She’s is great form and she’s ready to run, she’s got all the bonuses at Exeter on Sunday.
“We’ll look at the Exeter race, she seems in very good form and we couldn’t be happier with the way she’s been going at home.”