Tom George is hoping Big Fella Thanks can continue his fine record over the Grand National fences when he returns to Aintree for the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase on Saturday week.
The 10-year-old has completed the famous course on each of his three starts in the John Smith's Grand National, finishing sixth in 2009 and fourth in 2010 when in the care of Paul Nicholls, as well as being seventh in 2011 when handled by Ferdy Murphy.
His first run since that latest National effort came only last month when he made his debut for George over the Mildmay fences, only to unseat Paddy Brennan in a veterans' handicap chase.
"The Becher Chase race has been the plan for him since he came back in and he has been in really good form," said the Slad trainer.
"He is where we want him to be at the moment. It was a bit unfortunate what happened last time at Aintree but it didn't do him any harm and has got a run into him.
"He was showing all the right signs before his run at Aintree. His work has been good and he has been showing plenty of enthusiasm.
"I think the Becher will suit him.
"He has run very well there before and loves the track but the Grand National has always looked a bit too far for him - I think the trip in the Becher Chase will be just about right.
"The only target we have had for him is this race so after that we will just pick and choose as we see right for him."
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