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Henderson’s Hennessy winner has serious Grand National claims

| 02.12.2013

After striking Hennessy Gold for the second year in succession, champion trainer Nicky Henderson must decide whether or not to go back to plan A with Triolo D’Alene and enter the six-year-old in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Now a back-to-back winner of the Hennessy himself, jockey Barry Geraghty had been plaguing Henderson to reserve Triolo D’Alene for the National and in light of his impressive triumph at
Newbury, the French import is now joint-favourite for the Aintree showpiece at 20/1.

Triolo D’Alene shares this early ante-poste price with Rocky Creek, the horse he fought hard to overcome in the Hennessy, while Back In Focus heads a list of eight other 25/1 shots at present.

Those up to speed with their Grand National trivia may already be shaking their heads – as no Hennessy winner has ever completed the double – largely due to the weight penalties handed down for the winners of the prestigious handicap.

But, this year could be different, given the impressive form Triolo D’Alene has shown at Aintree and with the possibility of the handicapper could show the sort of leniency granted to Imperial Commander last year, to ensure quality horses are attracted to the race.

Triolo D’Alene took to the Grand National fences like a duck to water in April 2013 when he again held on strongly to take the 2m5f Topham Chase, showing he’s a comfortable performer at the track.

The requisite jumping skills to win the National certainly seem to be in place and now Triolo D’Alene has won over the magic 3m mark of would-be Aintree champions, his staying ability has also stood the test.

Unlike Henderson’s stable star Bobs Worth, winner of the Hennessy and Gold Cup in 2012, there has been no mention whatsoever of a tilt at the Cheltenham showpiece as yet, where Bobs Worth heads the early betting once more at 5/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.