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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Seabass on course for NationalHeadlines
Seabass

Last year's Grand National third Seabass confirmed himself a major contender for this season's renewal of the Aintree spectacular with a tremendous comeback run over hurdles at Fairyhouse.

The Ted Walsh-trained 10-year-old was a heavily supported joint-favourite for the world's most famous steeplechase last April and gave the trainer's daughter Katie Walsh a fantastic spin to be beaten just five lengths.

Making his first appearance since in a two-mile hurdle race, Seabass was hardly going to be seen to best effect but ran on strongly to fill the runner-up spot behind the impressive Rock Critic.

The Willie Mullins-trained Make Your Mark was the 4-6 market leader for the Racegoer's 25 Euros Package Hurdle on the strength of some strong novice form last term, but 9-4 shot Rock Critic was travelling much the better of the pair as they rounded the home turn as one.

Once given his head by Robbie McNamara, the Dermot Weld-trained Rock Critic scooted clear to make it two from two over obstacles by three and three-quarter lengths.

Seabass was predictably outpaced as the front pair swung into the straight, but finished well under Ruby Walsh to grab the runner-up spot from a rather disappointing Make Your Mark.

Walsh senior was delighted with the performance and with Colbert Station also Aintree-bound, the trainer now has two major contenders as he aims to win the race for a second time following the triumph of Papillon in 2000.

Walsh said: "I'm happy with him. He'll run somewhere in three weeks' time. There is the Bobbyjo Chase, the race he won in Naas last year, and also the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton. The plan is to give him another run and then go to Aintree. He has fragile old legs and you wouldn't want to be abusing him."

Stan James clipped Seabass to 16-1 from 20-1 for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 6, and Rock Critic was cut to 12-1 by the same firm for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Weld said: "He did what I thought he would do. He knows his job and he jumps well. He would much prefer better ground. We've no definite plan - we'll speak to the owners. He's entered in Cheltenham, but at the moment I see him as a Punchestown/Fairyhouse horse. He jumped like a stag."

6 December 2016

Champers sparks Uttoxeter celebrations with winning chase bow
Jim Best case result to be announced on Monday
Peace News returns unscathed following Fairyhouse fall
Yanworth set to swerve International date in favour of Christmas challenge
Douvan heads Hilly Way dozen at Cork
Warren Greatrex issues Aloomomo warning to punters
Willie Mullins leaves big guns in John Durkan
Newbury confirm Hennessy sponsorship to end
Simply Ned on course for repeat Leopardstown bid
Sir Anthony McCoy would split up Tizzard aces at Kempton
Joseph O'Brien biding his time with Landofhopeandglory
Colin Kidd prepares Rashaan for New Year return to action
County Hurdle runner-up Fethard Player in line for back-end campaign
Neil Mulholland still has Festival plan for Shantou Village
No problems for Uttoxeter
Nick Alexander dominates Ayr action as Marlee Massie highlights treble
Newly-crowned champion Jim Crowley gallops away with jockey award
Fergal O'Brien sets sights on Sandown compensation for Alvarado
Gracious John stars in Lingfield treble for Egan
Ruby Walsh raises Ascot possibility for Un De Sceaux
Taquin Du Seuil tops 19 contenders hunting Caviar Gold
James Moffatt hoping Highland Lodge effort will secure National date
Many Clouds Lexus bid under serious consideration from Oliver Sherwood
Smad Place lined up for Cotswold repeat by Alan King

5 December 2016

Aidan O'Brien claims Flat prize at HRI Awards
Uttoxeter forced to check due to threat of frost
Kim Bailey considers Cheltenham test for Charbel
The Last Samuri to tread a familiar path back to Aintree
Peter Maher takes double aim at Cross Country Chase
Ludlow frozen off
Oscar-winning performance delights Fergal O'Brien
Eddie Harty has long-term dreams for Coney Island after Drinmore glory
'Excellent' Josses Hill puts it all together in Peterborough Chase romp
Apple's Jade pips Vroum Vroum Mag in Hatton's Grace thriller
Prolific Airlie Beach bags Grade One glory in Royal Bond
Ar Mad in line to be supplemented for the King George at Kempton
Landofhopeandglory still unbeaten over hurdles after Fairyhouse battle
Ballyandy providing Nigel Twiston-Davies with campaign quandary
Yanworth enters International and Christmas reckoning

4 December 2016

Gordon Elliottt eyeing Leopardstown outing for Ucello Conti
Stuart Edmunds eyeing Ascot compensation for Wolf Of Windlesham
Ludlow call precautionary check
Kelso gets the go-ahead
As De Mee gives owner Dame Judi Dench a winner over the National fences
Un De Sceaux just betters Sire De Grugy in Tingle Creek epic
National hero Many Clouds back in business at Aintree
Kempton the next stop as Altior bandwagon gathers pace at Sandown
Vieux Lion Rouge denies Highland Lodge repeat success in Becher thriller
Cole Harden second on fencing debut as Its'afreebee comes out on top
Unbeaten Airlie Beach seeking Grade One gold in Royal Bond
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse
Mouse Morris gives Alpha Des Obeaux a squeak in Fairyhouse Grade One

3 December 2016

Evening Hush makes big noise at Aintree
BHA withdraws disciplinary charges against Martin Harley
Festival winner Martello Tower off the mark over fences at Fairyhouse
Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory faces Fairyhouse test
More Of That on recovery mission in Peterborough Chase
Precautionary inspection for Kelso Sunday fixture
Waitaki gives Pat Smullen a winning send off at Dundalk
Classy Messire Des Obeaux fires for Alan King at Sandown
The New One set to take on International Hurdle assignment
Faugheen earmarked for Christmas comeback
Oliver Sherwood 'very happy' as National winner Many Clouds returns to Aintree
Noel Fehily bowled over by Sandown-bound Altior
National king Mouse Morris on Aintree reconnaissance mission with Rogue Angel
Vroum Vroum Mag leads Hatton's Grace team for Willie Mullins
Ground poser as Un De Sceaux takes Tingle Creek test at Sandown
Henry de Bromhead has John Durkan target for Sub Lieutenant

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