Dr Richard Newland is looking forward to taking Abolitionist back to Aintree for the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase on December 8 following his victory over hurdles there on Saturday.
Newland finally got the 10-year-old on the track for the first time since the move from Ellmarie Holden’s stable in Ireland and he was among 58 entries for the Becher.
“Abolitionist has come out of his run at Aintree in good form and we were delighted with his victory,” said Newland.
“We bought him 15 months ago and we were trying to target this year’s Grand National. He had finished third in an Irish National, but it all went a bit pear-shaped for him last season.
“He had a stress fracture on his pelvis and then when we tried to bring him back, he had another stress fracture on his pelvis. I thought we were nearly finished with him, but we got him sorted and gave him plenty of work and thankfully it has worked out.
“The Becher Chase is the plan for him now. From our point of view, his run at the weekend was a prep for the Becher. Obviously, we hoped he would win it off a low weight so it was a pleasing run.
“It was a great start for us from Abolitionist and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.”
One For Arthur could have his first race since taking the Grand National in 2017.
The Lucinda Russell-trained nine-year-old has been sidelined with a tendon injury but is reported to be on the comeback trail.
Last year’s Becher winner Blaklion is one of four entries from the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable along with Ballyoptic, Go Conquer and Calett Mad.
Gordon Elliott is responsible for six of the 12 Irish-trained entries – Don Poli, General Principle, Borice, Monbeg Notorious, Noble Endeavour and Cork National victor Out Sam.
The remaining Irish-trained contenders include Sean Doyle’s Crosshue Boy, the Ross O’Sullivan-trained Baie Des Iles and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Vieux Morvan.
Among other entries are Anthony Honeyball’s Ms Parfois, Mark Bradstock’s bet365 Gold Cup winner Step Back and the Paul Nicholls-trained quartet of dual Badger Ales victor Present Man, 2017 Scottish National hero Vicente, Braqueur D’Or and Warriors Tale.