Rayburn in National prep

Paul Nolan’s Colnel Rayburn will have his prep run for the John Smith’s Grand National when lining up in the Tote “Online Betting For Cheltenham” Newlands Chase at Naas on Sunday.

And Nolan is keen on the chances of his charge at Aintree after the 10-year-old was in the process of running a major race last year, before he was caught up in the melee which claimed Clan Royal at Bechers Brook on the second circuit.

“He’s shown good form over two miles before and hopefully this will be his prep run before the Grand National,” said Nolan.

“He ran a fine race in the Thyestes last time (when fifth). I was watching the race with Tony Martin (who trained the winner) and when they turned in to the straight I said to him that mine would take all the beating, but he just got tired.

“He can be strange at times though, and run around and swish his tail. On his day I’m sure he’s got a big race in him but if things don’t go his way he can chuck the towel in. If he gets his own way he can be a very good horse.

“He was travelling so well in the National last year until the incident at Bechers which he had to jump from a standstill. He was lame for three months after that though so he had a good excuse.

“He’s got a nice racing weight this time (10st 4lb). He needs about 20 to come out but we are so far away from the race that you would expect him to get a run and he will give whoever rides him a very nice ride.”

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