Gary Moore has said that his Grand National hope Traffic Fluide is “absolutely fine” after falling heavily at the final fence just as he was threatening to pull off a shock 40/1 win in the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase, his first outing in fifteen months.
The only remaining headache for the Sussex-based trainer ahead of the Grand National is whether he can get the runner into a final prep race over hurdles. At the moment, he is struggling to find one.
Traffic Fluide has been burdened with a weight of 10st 3lb for the famous steeplechase and most bookies are going an ante-post price of 40/1 on him winning on April 4th. Indeed he was running a fine race prior to coming down at Ascot last weekend with a relieved Gary Moore saying: All roads are leading to the 2020 Randox Health Grand National on April 4th for Gary Moore’s Traffic Fluide.
“He took a heavy fall, but he seems none the worse for it. He’s a battle-hardened old horse.”
Plans to aim the horse towards the 2020 Randox Health Grand National remain intact, however Moore believes that he might struggle to find the 10-year-old another outing prior to the big race itself.
He added: “I don’t want to go straight to Aintree, but it’s looking like I’ve got to – because I want to run him in a hurdle race, but I can’t find one for him that’s suitable.
“So if I have to take him straight to Aintree, then that’s what I’ll do.”
Moore may consider a racecourse gallop for his next outing with the trainer opting to shy away from making an appearance at the Cheltenham Festival or another fencing prep.
“I don’t really want to run him again over fences (before then), so if I have to take him away somewhere I’ll do that,” he said.
“I don’t want to go to Cheltenham – that’s coming too soon. There’s lots of reasons why I don’t want to – the perfect race would be to run him on Sunday (at Fontwell), but that’s far too quick (after Ascot).”