MELISSA JONES SAYS: Wales' big hope for National won't have practice run

First published in Sport

WALES’ big hope for the world’s biggest steeplechase will go straight there without a prep run, his trainer confirmed.

Tim Vaughan said 2011 Scottish Grand National hero Beshabar is on the road to Aintree, after resuming training earlier this month.

The 10-year-old was on the horse walker on Monday afternoon as he slowly builds up to the biggest race of his life in six months time.

In a pure coincidence, a former jockey of his returned this week after a long spell out through injury.

Christian Williams, who broke both arms in a fall from Beshabar at Cheltenham in November 2010, made his comeback at Ffos Las.

Beshabar came back into training on October 1 and hopes are high both will regain the winning thread.

The Middleham Park Racing chaser was one of the favourites for the 2012 renewal, before being ruled out with a small tendon strain.

His trainer is hoping history will not repeat itself before the famous April race. "As it stands we go straight there," Vaughan said.

"He’s summered well and will be on the horse walker for a month or so and then do his road work."

Vaughan believes the Hennessy fifth would be handed a weight of around 11 stone for Aintree and a good prep run could hamper the bid, in light of a higher handicap mark.

"He looks an ideal Grand National runner, so we’re going for one big crack at it," Vaughan added.

The Vale of Glamorgan handler has plenty to keep him busy beforehand with a team including smart chaser Tartak, Hidden Identity and First Fandango due out at the weekend.

He reports the latter to have improved for his first run of the season, while Saint Are, successful over Aintree’s regulation fences before the National, is Hennessy bound.

Vaughan, who has former England footballer Michael Owen as an owner, is hoping to add an extra 25 stables at the yard by Christmas.

The plans were approved by the local authority and work on a menage and circular gallop is due to start in the spring.

A 100 horses are currently in training at the Welsh yard.

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