The Package delivers eye-catching Cheltenham run | Grand National 2014The Festival Chase on the opening day of the big Cheltenham meeting often produces some late clues to the Grand National and several Aintree hopefuls were involved this year. The best-backed was Jonjo O’Neill’s Alfie Sherrin but victory went to his stable companion Holywell.
Tony McCoy held up Alfie Sherrin, a former winner of this race, but he could never get competitive. He eventually finished in eighth place but this was only his second start of the season. O’Neill has several other entries for the National including 2012 runner-up Sunnyhillboy.
Nicky Henderson’s Shakalakaboomboom started at 50-1 and was always struggling to go the pace. He was right up with the leaders in the National in 2012 but has been absent through injury before making a return to action at the end of January. The ten-year-old was pulled up at Doncaster last month and finished a tailed off 17th here. Henderson is still seeking his first Grand National winner but still has Hennessy winner Triolo D’Alene and 2011 Gold Cup winner Long Run in contention.
By far the best National trial was put up by David Pipe’s The Package. He moved up threateningly with three to jump but couldn’t quite sustain his effort, eventually finishing third. That was his first run since being pulled up in the same race a year ago. Read more here
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