Ever-popular chaser Bristol De Mai will head to Aintree for the Grade One Betway Bowl at the Grand National meeting, providing he gets his favoured ground.
A three-time winner of the Grade One Betfair Chase, he was was pulled up when attempting to equal Kauto Star’s record four successes in the Haydock feature in November, a race won by subsequent Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard.
The 11-year-old, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, showed he retains plenty of zest when narrowly beaten by Two For Gold in the Fleur De Lys Chase at Lingfield in January, before finishing runner-up to The Galloping Bear in the Grand National Trial at Haydock last month.
Connections of the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey are keeping their eyes on the skies before committing to any target, however.
The owners’ racing manager, Anthony Bromley, said: “We are looking at the Grade One Bowl at Aintree but we would need some rain.
“We didn’t confirm him for the Scottish National because there is no rain about.
“The idea is to run him again before the end of the season, but he does want soft ground.
“We would need a lot more rain than they are forecasting this week – he will need plenty.
“He was second in the Bowl a few years ago to Might Bite, so he will get an entry in that.
“We are strongly looking at that and we just want to see some soft in the going description. We want to see plenty of rain at Liverpool.”
Wholestone, who was pulled up before the last in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, could revert back to hurdles for his next outing.
Winner of the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on his penultimate run, the 11-year-old will bypass next week’s Grand National meeting.
“Wholestone had quite a hard race in the Midlands National,” said Bromley. “He will run again this season, but Aintree is coming up a bit quick for him.
“There is a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in April which might be a thought, but there are no real targets for him.”