Chris Bealby is dreaming of Aintree after Chac Du Cadran (11-2) galloped his rivals into submission in the North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase at Catterick.
While the seven-year-old would need to continue his sharp progression to get into the big race in April, his performance suggested he may be a horse for the future in similar marathon contests.
Tom Messenger booted his mount into nearly every fence and each time he responded, seeing off Pentiffic and then Night In Milan to come home eight lengths ahead of the staying-on Desperate Dex.
"He's a very underrated jockey, he gave it an amazing ride and kicked him into every fence. He's a lazy horse which is why he's wearing cheekpieces and I've got half a mind to even put blinkers on next time so he's not as hard a ride," Bealby told Racing UK.
"He'd run well over three miles so we took a step in the deep end and thought we'd see what happened if we stepped him right up in trip and he just outstayed them. Where we go next I'm not quite sure, it depends what the handicapper does - he might get into an Eider Chase or something like that.
"I think he'll want a bit of a break now. He had a fairly hard race at Towcester in December and that today. It's a great thrill for a small yard like ours. He deserves it because however lazy he is, he keeps going and responds to you. He out-galloped some quite useful horses today.
"It's only his fourth ever chase, let's not forget that, and he jumped like a seasoned handicapper. I suspect he'll go up 10lb at least but I still think he'll be competitive as the further he goes the better - four miles will be no problem.
"The ultimate dream would be Aintree but we've got to go up another 20-25lb to even get in. That's a pipe dream but that's what racing is all about.
"He's our fifth winner of the season. We've got some nice young horses but it has been a struggle in the recession. I haven't bought a horse for 18 months because I don't have anyone to buy them. Something like this will hopefully raise our profile. For a horse rated 115 to win a 20 grand race is great, so all credit to Catterick."
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