Cloudy Lane is set to defend his title in the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree next month
Last Updated: March 20, 2013 12:52pm
Cloudy Lane: Entered for Aintree
Cloudy Lane gave the McCain family another success over the Grand National fences in last season's John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase and is one of 35 entries for this year's renewal.
Cloudy Lane, trained by Donald McCain, has an excellent record over the Grand National fences - having also finished sixth and eighth in the 2008 and 2010 John Smith's Grand Nationals respectively.
Other potential runners with winning course form include 2008 John Smith's Topham Chase hero Gwanako, from the stable of Paul Nicholls who has also entered Rebel Du Maquis, and Marilyn Scudamore's Silver Adonis, who was the shock 50/1 winner of the 2010 John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase.
Warne, trained in Northern Ireland by Brian Hamilton, has been in good form this season, having won over a similar trip at Fairyhouse last month in impressive fashion by five and a half lengths. On his penultimate appearance over three miles at Leopardstown on February 9, he came home ninth behind dual Cheltenham Foxhunter scorer Salsify.
Hamilton revealed: "The plan is to run Warne in the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase. He has been in very good form since his win at Fairyhouse and we decided straight after to let him take his chance at Aintree.
"The reason we did not go to Cheltenham with him is because three miles, two and a half furlongs is too far for him. He is quite trip dependent and that is why we planned to go to Aintree - we never even thought about going to Cheltenham.
"The three miles at Leopardstown was too far for him. He travelled as well as Salsify and Tammys Hill but jumped the second last and fell in a hole. An extended two and a half miles is his ideal trip.
"He has plenty of pace and travels well through his races and better ground will definitely benefit him as well. He is a very good jumper - quick and accurate - and I am hoping he gives a good account of himself. If he jumps round, he would have to have a good chance."
Willie Mullins' Boxer Georg may bid to go one better than in 2011 when he was narrowly denied by Baby Run and the third that day, Grade One winner Offshore Account, trained by Tracey Bailey, could make his fifth start over the Grand National fences.
Other notable entries include Denman's full-brother Silverburn, now in the care of Welsh handler Evan Williams. The 12-year-old took the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle in 2007 and has made a good start to his hunter chasing career, scoring easily at Musselburgh in February before finishing the eight-length second to the Fiona Browne-trained Bold Addition, who has won both his races this season and is part-owned by (his former trainer) Paul Nicholls, at Warwick on March 10.
Vic Venturi, formerly trained in Ireland by Dessie Hughes, has run in the John Smith's Grand National three times and won the Betfred Becher Chase over the big fences in 2009.