Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings is eyeing up a Grand National record following the surprise announcement that he intends to run Vintage Clouds in the famous steeplechase on 4th April, thus increasing his chances of claiming a fourth win in the race.
Hemmings’ favourite horse was a first-fence casualty in last year’s renewal of the Grand National and trainer Sue Smith categorically stated that the popular grey wouldn’t appear in the 2020 National. Nevertheless following an impressive win in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock last month, it looks as though Vintage Clouds could still make an appearance in the showpiece Aintree spectacle.
Hemmings has already had three triumphs in the Grand National with Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015, thus making him joint most successful owner in the race’s history. Clearly another win would mean a lot to a man which has stated that the Grand National is the greatest race in the world. We can’t say we disagree!
Trainer Sue Smith, who trained 2013 winner Auroras Encore, said: “Having discussed it at length with Trevor Hemmings, the owner, we decided that having won so well in the Peter Marsh Chase, it is worth keeping our options open until nearer the time.
“Vintage Clouds has slightly struggled over the Aintree fences, particularly in the Becher, but we want to keep all options on the table for the time being. He jumped superbly in the Peter Marsh and has come out of the race very well.
“So, after consideration we have decided to enter Vintage Clouds for the Grand National.”
Vintage Clouds is a general 33/1 punt on the ante-post market for the 2020 Grand National.