Grand National 2018: Gas Line Boy – The Ian Williams-trained Gas Line Boy (10st 10lb) is all set for a third attempt at the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 14th April 2018.
The 12-year-old son of Blueprint fell at the first fence in 2015, before coming home an excellent fifth in the 2017 renewal of the world’s greatest and richest chase, 17 lengths behind winner One For Arthur.
Gas Line Boy was the four and a half-length winner over the Grand National fences of the 188Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree on heavy ground over two miles and five furlongs on 9th December 2017.
Since then he has finished a creditable five-length third to fellow Randox Health Grand National contender Buywise in a three-mile veterans’ handicap chase over regulation fences at Sandown Park on 6th January 2018.
Gas Line Boy also holds an entry in the £140,000 Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase (2m 5f) on Ladies Day, Friday 13th April at Aintree, but Williams is targeting the Randox Health Grand National over 30 fences and four and a quarter miles again.
Gas Line Boy is attempting to become the first 12-year-old to win the Randox Health Grand National since Amberleigh House in 2004.
The horse races in the colours of The Three Graces, a partnership consisting of Wirral-based Peter Le Gros and Southport-based Peter Thwaites.
Williams, based at Dominion Racing Stables near Alvechurch in Worcestershire, has trained Gas Line Boy since late 2015, while Jim Best was the horse’s handler for the first Grand National attempt.
The trainer said: “Gas Line Boy is in great form at home and everything has gone well with him since his last run at Sandown.
“He has schooled over Grand National-type fences at home and his work has been good.
“Despite the wet weather, we are still very keen to run in the Randox Health Grand National, even if it ended up soft on the day.
“He does hold an entry in the Topham Chase, but hopefully conditions will dry out – the Grand National is still the plan.
“He’s been really well in the build-up to the race and he was an excellent fifth in last year’s Grand National.
“We’re hopeful of his well-being between now and the race, while his form in the race and over the fences reads well. He’s a good performer.
“Robbie Dunne, who rode him in both last year’s Grand National and the Grand Sefton, will ride him once again as he knows the horse well – we’re looking forward to the day.”
Dunne has only had two rides in the Randox Health Grand National, but his record is excellent. He finished third on 13-year-old Vics Canvas, a 100/1 chance in 2016, after recovering from a bad blunder at Becher’s first time around. Gas Line Boy was a 50/1 chance last year.
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree runs from Thursday 12th April to Saturday 14th April.