Yala Enki faces 15 rivals as he defends Grand National Trial title

Venetia Williams’ runner was a wide-margin winner at Haydock last year

  • Thursday 14 February
  • News
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The last three winners of the William Hill Grand National Trial – Yala Enki, Vieux Lion Rouge and Bishops Road – are among a field of 16 declared for the three-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Last year’s hero Yala Enki, trained by Venetia Williams, tops the weights on 11st 12lb, having carried 10st 11lb when successful by 54 lengths in attritional conditions.

Vieux Lion Rouge, who struck in 2017, is one of two runners from the David Pipe stable along with Ramses De Teillee, who was runner-up to Elegant Escape in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December.

Elegant Escape’s trainer Colin Tizzard is represented by both Royal Vacation and Robinsfirth.

Other trainers who have two runners are Nigel Twiston-Davies with Ballyoptic and Ballyarthur, and Neil Mulholland through Warwick Classic Chase scorer Impulsive Star and Carole’s Destrier.

Sue Smith has declared Wakanda, who defeated Robinsfirth by a length and three-quarters to take the Peter Marsh Chase on this course last month.

The sole Irish runner is Thomas Gibney’s Ah Littleluck while the list is completed by Red Infantry, The Two Amigos, Pobbles Bay and Chef d’Oeuvre.

The most notable absentee at the 48-hour final declaration stage was Lucinda Russell’s One For Arthur, winner of the 2017 Grand National at Aintree.

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Haydock 15:35, 16 February 2019

Haydock 15:35, 16 February 2019

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