Warren Greatrex column ahead of Becher Chase at Aintree

Check out the latest column from top trainer Warren Greatrex
Check out the latest column from top trainer Warren Greatrex

"I'm reviewing the situation," admits Warren Greatrex as our columnist makes plans for Theatre Territory over the next couple of weeks and beyond.

Looking back

STAR OF LANKA – 1st, Hereford, November 28

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He came on nicely for him Sandown comeback which we expected and he is a horse I've liked since we bought him. He should keep progressing and we may look to find something similar again for him now. There's possibly something at Newbury but we could drop back in trip. He looks exciting and there's just a lot to like about him and the way he travels.

ENCORE CHAMPS – 1st, Wetherby, November 28

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It was a messy race and he didn't want to be ridden like that really as he got taken on from the start by a seasoned Flat horse. He'll be a better horse in a better race and finished quite well considering the way the race panned out. He's definitely got a big engine.

LA BAGUE AU ROI – 1st, Newbury, November 30

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She's very good and did everything asked of her at Newbury last week. It would have been interesting if Lostintranslation had stood up but she acquitted herself very well again on the day and Richard (Johnson) was delighted. Her main race now will be the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas. It's a great race to be associated with and named after an absolute legend of a horse so it's fantastic to be going there with a runner, never mind a really live chance. We're all looking forward to it.

MULCAHYS HILL – 2nd, Bangor, December 1

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This was much better - especially so as Bangor possibly didn't suit him ideally, there just aren't many novice chases about. It possibly wasn't his track but he did well and I wouldn't be worried about running him somewhere in a better race now either as he'll love the testing ground that's bound to be around.

BOITE – 7th, Newbury, November 1

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He ran quite a nice race and the handicapper has dropped him a couple more pounds. He handles soft ground and we could end up running some big races and just hope to land on one at some point.


The week ahead...

Time For Rio - 2.25 Sandown, Friday

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It's a big step up to for him into a Grade Two contest but he won very well at Bangor last time. Gavin feels he's a progressive horse who had plenty left that day. He's got experience from his point-to-point days and we feel it's worth giving him a shot at a prize like this.

Sandhurst Lad - 12.20 Chepstow, Saturday

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I was very happy with his first run back at Fontwell where the track wouldn't suit him. Chepstow will be much more to his liking and he's come on nicely for the reappearance so I'd like to think he has a chance here.

Mahlervous - 1.00 Aintree Saturday

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He ran very well on his seasonal debut, finishing second at Cheltenham, and we were very happy with him. Everything looks fine here in terms of track, trip and ground. Sean Bowen rides and I just have a sneaky feeling he'll run well from a low weight.

Another Emotion - 1.20 Sandown, Saturday

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He was restricted to just two runs last season, finishing second at Chepstow and winning at Ffos Las. He loves soft ground and this is his first run in a handicap and we'll know a lot more about him afterwards.

Missed Approach - 1.30 Aintree, Saturday

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He will run in the Becher and he schooled well in the week. It's his first run of the year and he goes well fresh. He'll get the trip and handle the soft ground. I couldn't have him in better shape to be honest. We'll see if he's up to his handicap mark but I think there are more major races to be won with him this season.

Theatre Territory on the other hand doesn't head to Liverpool. I'm just worried the ground is going to get very testing up there. She'll wait for Cheltenham next week or a mares' race at Newbury on the 19th - I'm reviewing the situation with her.

Eeze A Saint - 3.40 Chepstow, Saturday

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He ran OK on is debut at Ayr but will have learned a lot from it and has pleased me since. He'll love Chepstow and soft ground and I'd like to think he'll run better this time.

Kyllachy Gala - 1.20 Huntingdon,Sunday

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He was a 90-plus rated horse on the Flat in France and his schooling has gone very well this autumn. I think he has what it takes to take high rank among the novice hurdlers this season and I'm looking forward to his debut here.


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