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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Cappa Bleu

Cappa Bleu is likely to go straight for the John Smith's Grand National without another run following his fine effort at Ascot on Saturday.

Fourth in last season's Aintree showpiece, the Evan Williams-trained 11-year-old warmed up for another crack with an excellent second to Vino Griego in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Chase, having finished third in the same race 12 months earlier.

"Looking at him, I think we can go there without another run. That will have blown the cobwebs away and sharpened him up. I think we'll sit down and train him for the National now," said Williams.

That was only Cappa Bleu's second run since the big race last April following a trip to Carlisle in November, when he was second to Across The Bay.

"It's always difficult after they've run in the National," said Llancarfan-based Williams.

"We've had a lot of time since Carlisle to get him back to the track and it was great to see him run with such enthusiasm and great to see him stay on in the closing stages.

"The most pleasing thing for me was when he had a couple of cracks on his backside to get down and race, he put his foot down and galloped all the way from the furlong marker to the line.

"It was just nice to get a run like that out of the way because I'd been desperate to run as the weather had been so bad.

"You are always a little bit nervous how they are going to perform on the day, especially when they need it.

"There were only positives to be taken out of the race."

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