14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Dartnall has good word for CrossHeadlines
Giles Cross

Giles Cross beat subsequent Aintree hero Neptune Collonges in the Betfred Grand National Trial 12 months ago and returns to Haydock to defend his crown.

A subsequent disappointment at Liverpool, the 11-year-old was also pulled up in the Welsh National on his return.

"I feel very happy going into Saturday's race. He's had an uninterrupted preparation since the Welsh National. The horses are coming to form and the going will be heavy, which is an added bonus," said handler Victor Dartnall.

Trainer Michael Scudamore is thinking in a different direction with Monbeg Dude, who was given a tremendous waiting ride from Paul Carberry to defeat the reopposing Teaforthree in the Welsh National.

Scudamore said: "He came out of the race in great form. It was probably the genius of Paul Carberry that did it, but the day after he was out in the field bucking and kicking. He hardly knew he had a run somehow, so we couldn't be happier with how he is. Paul is a masterful rider and I'll leave it up to him.

"Three miles four (furlongs) on heavy ground should be absolutely ideal for him. On a flatter track they might go that stride faster, but round Haydock in those sort of conditions will be a test of stamina and hopefully that will suit him the best."

Looking ahead with Monbeg Dude, Scudamore told At The Races: "He has a Gold Cup entry and he will have an entry in the three-mile handicap there as well. The owners are very keen to have a go in the Gold Cup if Saturday all went well and it came up heavy at Cheltenham, or certainly soft ground."

Gary Moore fields an interesting runner for shrewd owner Patrick Wilmott in the shape of Well Refreshed. A recruit from the retired Peter Winkworth, he beat Rigadin De Beauchene at Lingfield and, one fall at the same track aside, could even have landed his last four starts.

Well Refreshed took the Sussex National at Plumpton last time and Moore said: "We had always hoped he'd be a decent chaser but he fell first time at Fontwell and it took a long time to get him back. This is the best race he has run in off his highest mark, but he stays well in that sort of ground when others won't."

Brian Ellison's Neptune Equester pleased on his only outing since finishing 13th in the National, and jockey Danny Cook said: "He won over hurdles at Wetherby on his first run back. He seemed to enjoy himself and hopefully he's fresh and ready to go on Saturday."

1 December 2015

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Harry Whittington sets Kempton task for Newbury hero Arzal
Jack Berry among nominations for Lesters awards
Wayne Hutchinson hoping for further Smad Place success
Chase plans on hold for Thistlecrack following Newbury verdict
Shantou Flyer set Cheltenham Festival target by Colin Bowe
Barry Connell delighted by Gwencily Berbas run
Rashaan connections eager to hang on to juvenile star
Aintree confirm later slot for Grand National
Jim Dreaper excited by Becher Goon show at Aintree
Bobs Worth camp consider return to hurdling
Nicky Henderson sidesteps Tingle Creek with Sprinter Sacre
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for possible Huntingdon raid
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30 November 2015

Violet Dancer hot to trot at Plumpton
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Gitane Du Berlais outgunned by Emily Gray at Carlisle
No More Heroes a cut above at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliott
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Victoria Pendleton fails to complete on first ride over fences
Long Dog's day as Willie Mullins duo has licence to thrill in Royal Bond
Rashaan stars for Colin Kidd at Fairyhouse
David Pipe keen on Kempton run for Un Temps Pour Tout
Dan Skelton outlines Baradari Leopardstown option
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29 November 2015

Ascot option for Harry Fry's Thomas Brown
Victoria Pendleton makes point-to-point debut in Devon
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Thistlecrack too sharp for Long Distance big guns at Newbury
Alan King bowled over by Hennessy hero Smad Place
Wakanda note perfect in Newcastle Rehearsal
Identity Thief delivers KO blow in Fighting Fifth at Newcastle
Micky Hammond on the mark with Caraline at Newcastle
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Long Dog and Bachasson primed for Royal Bond showdown at Fairyhouse
Former jockey Darren Egan denies stopping horses in BHA corruption case

28 November 2015

Thistlecrack goes the Distance at Newbury
Willie Mullins hands Gitane Du Berlais Carlisle assignment
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Three Musketeers adds name to illustrious Newbury honour roll
Bryan Cooper has a go with Heroes at Fairyhouse
Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth
Kasakh Noir puts down early Cheltenham marker with Newbury success
Warren Greatrex backs Cole Harden to go the Distance at Newbury
Harry Fry calls time on Rock On Ruby career due to injury
Willie Mullins says Wicklow Brave is fighting fit for Newcastle date

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