Grand National favourite Blaklion unlikely to run at Cheltenham

Blaklion: Won't warm up for Aintree at Cheltenham
Blaklion: Won't warm up for Aintree at Cheltenham

Randox Health Grand National favourite Blaklion is set to bypass the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in favour of a prep run at Haydock. 

The nine-year-old finished fourth in the Aintree showpiece last year and was last seen when winning the Becher Chase over the famous fences in December.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has given Blaklion a Cheltenham entry, but is instead planning to tackle the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 17 ahead of his Aintree date in April.

Twiston-Davies told the Guardian: "The Gold Cup is looking doubtful. I had a talk with the owners and we'll just head for the National I'd expect. We're thinking we'll go to the Grand National Trial at Haydock; that could be his next run."

The handler also has Bristol De Mai entered but is unsure of plans after he finished third at Cheltenham last Saturday.

Twiston-Davies added: "Bristol De Mai was disappointing and we don't really know what we're going to do with him yet. He's entered (for the National) and he's got lots of alternatives."

Blaklion is 10/1 with Sky Bet for the Randox Health Grand National with Bristol De Mai 40/1.

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