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Sam Brown to head straight to Grand National meeting

Dorset-based Anthony Honeyball has identified Ladies’ Day at the 2020 Grand National meeting as the next target for Sam Brown, the trainer having decided to bypass potential entries into the National Hunt Chase and RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase next month.

The eight-year-old successfully followed-up a win in his debut chase at Lingfield by triumphing in a Grade Two at Haydock Park, however this winning run over fences came to an end last weekend when he was pulled up in the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot.

The trainer said: “I decided to take him out of both races at Cheltenham and the plan will be to go to Aintree for the Mildmay.

“He didn’t blow hard after the race at Ascot on Saturday and as long as he is physically well, I think he can come back with a bang at Aintree.

“A flat track, going left-handed, where he will have lots of daylight, will hopefully show us just what level he stands at.”

Upon reflection of the performance at Ascot, Honeyball is of the opinion that improvement can be done with Sam Brown’s jumping before his next outing.

“He was a bit slow over the first couple and gradually lost his position and confidence before the wheels came off. The best thing Aidan (Coleman) did was to pull him up when he did.

“When he made mistakes at Haydock it didn’t cost him, but at Ascot they cost him a lot more. The fences came thick and fast and he just never jumped well, while I don’t think the undulations suited him.

“We will school him at home to get his confidence back and I’m sure we can put a line through his Ascot run.”