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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."

21 January 2017

Sunday check for Hereford card
Fontwell team call inspection ahead of Sunday meeting
Frozen Taunton loses Saturday fixture
Dual Group One winner The Grey Gatsby joins Dermot Weld
Ascot card called off following early-morning inspection
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Project Bluebook earns Cheltenham quotes with Musselburgh success
Colin Tizzard earmarks Cleeve Hurdle charge with West Approach
Injury setback for Andrew Thornton but 'this is 100 per cent not the end'
Peter Bowen ponders hurdling return for Henri Parry Morgan
Alan King puts 'progressive' Elgin on trial at Haydock
Dashing grey Politologue takes next step up the ladder at Haydock
The New One primed for Champion Hurdle Trial hat-trick bid
Colin Tizzard wary of Alary's weighty task in Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock

20 January 2017

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Ascot 'up against it' as Clarence House Chase card in jeopardy
Partly-frozen Ascot to stage inspection before Clarence House fixture
Chepstow given go-ahead after precautionary inspection
Classic quotes for Really Special after Meydan success
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Willie Mullins happy with progress of Faugheen and Annie Power
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Willie Mullins mob-handed in Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival
Ballyandy heading straight to Betfair Hurdle
Faugheen and Annie Power part of 47-strong entry for Stayers' Hurdle
Un De Sceaux and Ar Mad clash in Clarence House Chase at Ascot

19 January 2017

Sizing John shows strength to win Kinloch Brae at Thurles
Taunton Saturday fixture subject to inspection
Go-ahead for Wincanton after fourth inspection
Graeme McPherson considers Yorkshire raid with Cheltenham hope Ami Desbois
'Hopeful' Wincanton calls fourth inspection
Barry Murphy has Cheltenham Festival in mind for Pairofbrowneyes
Third inspection called at Wincanton
Chateau Conti has Supreme goal at Cheltenham Festival
Wincanton announces second course inspection
Wincanton takes precautions
Ascot and Haydock positive over weather for weekend action
Midlands National target for Pobbles Bay
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Relkeel winner Agrapart all set for Stayers' Hurdle tilt
Really Special bids to put Classic case at Meydan
First Lieutenant just one of the stars in red-hot hunter chase at Thurles
Willie Mullins hands Black Hercules Thurles redemption mission

18 January 2017

Jimmy Moffatt sitting tight with Highland Lodge ahead of Aintree
Joy for owner Bill Davies as he bags first winner - after 25 years of trying
Desert Orchid's trainer David Elsworth hoping to keep Kempton
Warren Greatrex warns The Nipper not certain to make Cheltenham
Boost for courses as racing back to second-best attended sport
Evan Williams set to put Clyne on trial at Haydock
Warren Greatrex considers Stayers' Hurdle test for One Track Mind
Annie Power and Faugheen star in 28 for Champion Hurdle
Newbury receives go-ahead at third attempt
Newbury 'very hopeful' as third inspection announced
Kerry Lee ducks Thurles mission with Ascot-bound Kylemore Lough
Newbury announces second course inspection
Roger Charlton keeps the faith with Frankel filly Fair Eva
Newbury calls inspection after overnight temperatures drop below freezing
Second Thought continues on the up at Kempton
Classy Starchitect up and running over fences at Ayr
Politologue stars in novice entry at Haydock
Contrasting views on Kempton closure from prominent Newmarket figures
Cyrus Darius primed for eagerly-awaited weekend return at Haydock
Heartbreak City on course for big handicap date at Leopardstown
Decorated Knight delights Roger Charlton in Kempton spin
Sire De Grugy skips Clarence House outing at Ascot
Yanworth to tackle Contenders heat with Cheltenham in his sights

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