Graham Wylie-owned gelding weighted to go well for champion Irish trainer
With Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own sidestepping a crack at the Crabbie’s Grand National, Prince de Beauchene now looks the main hope of champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins in the Aintree marathon test.
The 11-year-old, like On His Own, is owned by Graham Wylie and is one of two Mullins representatives left in this year’s contest – the other being 40/1 outsider Vesper Belle.
He was made ante post favourite for the National in 2011 and 2012, only two be ruled out of both contests after suffering a stress fracture in hip area.
However, he showed that he retained plenty of ability last year when finishing runner-up to Roi Du Mee in the Grade 2 Bobbyjoe Chase at Fairyhouse, and third behind the same rival in the Grade 1 JNwine Champion Chase at Down Royal where he had the classy First Lieutenant 2 1/2 lengths behind him in fourth.
On both those runs he was officially rated 155, and he is now due to run off a 6lb lower mark at Aintree.
That gives him every chance at the weights, and although he has yet to trouble the judge in three runs this season they have been in high class contests.
He was far from disgraced on his reappearance when 13th of 21 to Trio D’Alene in the Hennessy at Newbury, and then put a disappointing run when coming last to Bobs Worth in the Lexus at Leopardstown behind him when an encouraging keeping on fourth to Texas Jack over an inadequate 2m 4f at Thurles last time out.
His latest effort suggested that he could be peaking at the right time, and the step up significantly in trip at Aintree is sure to suit.
Other pluses are that his handler knows what is required to win the race having saddled Hedgehunter to victory in 2005, and he goes into the contest a fresh horse.
The son of French Glory is also bidding to become the third 11-year-old in succession to win the race, and that age group have triumphed in eight of the last 30 runnings.
If you act quickly, Prince de Beauchene is available at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.