Matt Brocklebank heads to Aintree on Saturday with Charlie Longsdon backed to win the Becher Chase over the famous Grand National fences.
Sporting Life Daily Nap, December 7
BALLYDINE missed the cut for last year's Randox Health Grand National but it remains the dream of Charlie Longsdon and the horse's owners (who have strong ties with Aintree) to get him into the big one in April 2020.
Perhaps first time out over the famous fences might be the time to catch him as we know he goes well fresh and aiming at Saturday's Becher Chase looks to have been the plan for a little while.
Ballydine was pulled-up when last seen in March but he was reported to be sore following that effort and he's surely better judged on his three previous runs last term when he performed consistently well in top handicaps won by Lake View Lad, Carole's Destrier and Wakanda.
He was out of the handicap proper on the last of those occasions, when third in the Grand National Trial at Haydock in February, so the assessor has given him a decent chance dropping him to a mark of 139 now and, providing he takes to the fences, a massive run looks very possible.
The booking of two-time Grand National-winning jockey Leighton Aspell is just the icing on a potentially very rewarding cake.