National service for Beshabar
Long-term absentee Beshabar is set to be prepared for a tilt at the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree without the aid of a prep run.
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Tim Vaughan's 2011 Scottish National winner has not been seen since finishing an excellent fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury a year ago after suffering a tendon injury during the race.
He is now back in light work, however, and Nick Bradley, racing manager for owners Middleham Park racing, is hoping the British Horseracing Authority's head of handicapping Phil Smith grants him a place in the National next April.
"He got a tendon injury in the Hennessy a year ago and it was quite a bad one, but thankfully he got the all-clear from the vet last week," said Bradley.
"He's been doing roadwork and has been on the horse walker and now he's back cantering, so we'll keep our fingers crossed for him.
"The plan is to go straight to the Grand National with him, as long as Phil Smith allows him to do so.
"We don't want to go back to the racecourse before then and get a recurrence of the tendon injury.
"He could go for a racecourse gallop or two and then go to Aintree nice and fresh and, hopefully, on a nice, low weight."