National hopes among Greatwood entry

Former Grand National hero Ballabriggs tops a total of 17 entries for Saturday’s StanJames Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Chase at Newbury.

National hopes among Greatwood entry

Donald McCain’s charge landed the Aintree feature back in 2011 but has failed to sparkle in two starts to date this term.

Big Fella Thanks is a possible runner in this year’s National and he will have to carry top weight if he runs in this Grade Three event as he boasts a rating of 154.

Becher Chase second Join Together has been entered by Paul Nicholls, who also has Pacher Du Polder and The Knoxs in the mix, while Alan King has both Bless The Wings and Saturday’s Kempton winner Midnight Sail.

Venetia Williams has entered Pepite Rose and Renard while Tim Vaughan can choose from Saved From John and Tartak. Old favourite Mahogany Blaze could represent Nigel Twiston-Davies while Tony Star is an eyecatching entry for Philip Hobbs.

Meanwhile, Chris Bealby is likely to wait until Cheltenham Festival week to get Chac Du Cadran back on the course after the Betfred Eider was lost to the snow at Newcastle on Saturday.

The valuable marathon handicap had been the season-long target for the seven-year-old, who won the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick on his last start.

The John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at the Festival on March 13, the Betfred Midlands Grand National and a novice handicap chase at Uttoxeter on March 16 are the three races the Lincolnshire trainer will consider.

“It’s difficult, because the Eider was the main aim all season. We are going to struggle to find a 50 grand race that he gets into with such a chance,” said Bealby.

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