Dynaste on course for Aintree
David Pipe is planning to step his Ryanair Chase winner Dynaste back up to three miles at Aintree.
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Last season, the grey struck over the same distance in the Mildmay Novices' Chase at the Grand National meeting but his only victory so far this term came at two miles and five furlongs last Thursday.
Dynaste ran poorly in the King George on Boxing Day but bounced back as one of three Festival winners for the stable.
"He pulled muscles in his quarters that day and took some getting right again after, with leading equine physio Mary Bromiley putting in plenty of overtime in the run-up to the Festival," the trainer told www.davidpipe.com.
"Fortunately everything came together in time for the Ryanair and coming with a well-timed run between the last two fences, he powered clear of Hidden Cyclone.
"He could well head to Punchestown, although the three miles and one furlong of the Betfair Bowl at Aintree's Grand National meeting looks tailor made for him and will probably be his next target."
While Ballynagour and Western Warhorse both won at Cheltenham, several others got away, and Pipe said: "Red Sherlock clearly wasn't at his best when finishing down the field in the Neptune.
"I am not naive enough to suggest that he would have beaten easy winner Faugheen, but a line through earlier form with placed horses Rathvinden and (indirectly) Ballyalton would suggest that he should have been challenging for a place at least.
"Kings Palace looked solid going into the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and having jumped well through the majority of the race, it was disappointing to see him take a tired-looking fall at the last when well beaten.
"He already boasted course form and had won over one and a half furlongs further - they didn't go a crazy gallop so the only obvious conclusion is that the ground was quicker than ideal for him.
"Kings Palace is a little sore after his fall and is receiving treatment, while I am pleased to report that Red Sherlock appears okay - both will have plenty of other opportunities to prove this form all wrong."
Goulanes rounded off a memorable week by giving Pipe his fourth consecutive Midlands National.
He said: "Goulanes holds an engagement in the Aintree equivalent next month although he will be given a little rest before deciding if he takes his chance there - his stamina looks assured and he is a sound jumper.
"The same could be said of The Package, who has the Grand National as his next objective. He put up a most pleasing seasonal debut when finishing a close third in the Baylis & Harding at Cheltenham and could improve a little for the outing."
reopens There will be one Pipe horse missing from the National raiding party when the latest confirmation stage is made public in Junior, who fell in the 2012 version and was ninth at Uttoxeter over the weekend.
Nick Bradley of owners Middleham Park tweeted: "Junior will be taken out of the Grand National today, Rose of the Moon expected to run if he gets in."