Step Back triumphed in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in 2018 and he will be ridden by Gold Cup and three-time Champion Chase winner Nico de Boinville in the 2019 Grand National, however the big question is, will he get past the first fence at the third attempt?
De Boinville won the Gold Cup aboard Mark Bradstock-trained Coneygree in 2015 and he will reunite with this trainer in the famous steeplechase next month. He was leading rider for the first time at Cheltenham Festival earlier this month although Grand National success has thus far eluded him. He came down at the first on Cocktails At Dawn two years ago and fell at the same place a year before that whilst on Hadrian’s Approach.
“I’m relatively optimistic this time,” De Boinville said, the jockey clearly conscious of what he has described as his “abysmal record” in the Grand National. “Step Back went up over the National fences in Lambourn three times and was very good. He has a nice weight and is a strong stayer.”
Mark Bradstock and his wife Sara can boast an exceptional record in big races with success coming in the Bet365 Gold Cup, Hennessy and Cheltenham Gold Cup, this being especially impressive given that theirs is a relatively small yard with less than twenty horses.
Step Back – who won against Rock The Kasbah by an impressive thirteen lengths in April at Sandown – is currently a 25/1 poke for Grand National success in 2019 and he will be second Bradstock-trained runner to appear in the race after Do Rightly who came down at the fourth in 1998.