Aintree test for Umbrigado

Pipe novice is unbeaten under rules

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David Pipe is planning to put Umbrigado to the test at a higher level at next month’s Grand National meeting.

The Irish point-to-point recruit is unbeaten in three starts under rules – landing a Uttoxeter bumper, a maiden hurdle at Southwell and then a novice at Exeter.

Pipe decided to sidestep the Cheltenham Festival with his five-year-old, but a trip to Aintree is under serious consideration.

The Devon trainer said: “Umbrigado was impressive in his bumper and last time at Exeter.

“He’s a horse we’ve thought a lot of and he’s going to have to step up again, but he warrants taking his chance in a better race.

“He might go up to Aintree, because he missed Cheltenham. He’ll be entered in the two and the two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdles.”

Umbrigado could be joined on the trip to Aintree by stablemate Eden Du Houx.

The five-year-old won bumpers at Plumpton and Ascot in December, and Pipe resisted the temptation to run him in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

He added: “Eden Du Houx missed Cheltenham and he could go to Aintree or Punchestown.

“We left him out of Cheltenham. I spoke to Caroline (Tisdall, owner), and we just decided we’d wait for either Aintree or Punchestown.

“He’s had a little break and seems in good form – and has done nothing wrong this season.”

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