Chicago Grey will head straight for the John Smith’s Grand National after delighting connections in his final run before the Aintree spectacular.
The nine-year-old made eye-catching late progress to take second place behind leading Ryanair Chase fancy Rubi Light over two and a half miles in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park earlier this month.
Chicago Grey will bypass next month’s Cheltenham Festival, where he won the four-mile National Hunt Chase last season, and be prepared for the National on April 14.
His trainer Gordon Elliott knows what it takes to win the big race on Merseyside, having tasted glory with Silver Birch in 2007, although no grey has been successful since Nicolaus Silver in 1961.
“He’s good and will go straight to the Grand National now,” said the County Meath handler.
“We were very happy with his run at Gowran. The two and a half miles was way too short for him.”
Chicago Grey, who has been given 10st 13lb in the National, is a top-priced 25-1.