National third Vics Canvas to carry on racing

Vics Canvas is set to carry on racing next season after defying his teenage years with an amazing effort in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Trainer Dermot McLoughlin is to discuss plans with the 13-year-old’s owners following his Aintree display that saw him recover from an appalling mistake at Becher’s Brook on the first circuit to take third place at odds of 100-1.

Before talking over the next step, McLoughlin will scratch Vics Canvas from the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, in which he was runner-up 12 months ago, at the five-day confirmation stage.

“He’s in Sandown next Saturday, but won’t run. I’ll take him out tomorrow,” said the County Meath handler.

“He came out of the race great and is out in the field.

“I don’t know where we’re going to go with him or if there’s another race for him. I’ll talk to the lads (owners) in the next couple of days and see what we’re going to do.

“We’ll keep him going next season. It won’t be an issue with him. He’s a hardy boy. Age means nothing to him.

“If every horse had the same heart as him you’d have plenty of good horses. He’s very tough.”

Meanwhile, Avant Tout could be prepared for a tilt at the Galway Plate following his impressive recent victory at Limerick.

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has largely been campaigned over fences this term, but reverted to hurdling to run a fine race in defeat in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.

He went back chasing on his latest appearance and landed a Grade Two prize in good style under Ruby Walsh.

Avant Tout could be sent to Punchestown for the Growise Champion Novice Chase, while other races over both hurdles and fences at the big meeting are also under consideration ahead of a possible appearance in this summer’s feature event at Galway.

Steve Massey, racing manager for the owners Supreme Horse Racing, said: “It was a very good performance at Limerick on ground he wouldn’t like and we might look at the Galway Plate, depending on how he goes at Punchestown.

“We are not short of options between now and Galway. There are a few races he could run in at Punchestown and, as always, we will leave it to Willie to decide where he runs.

“We’re really excited about the future with this horse.”


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