One For Arthur will make an appearance at either Kelso or Haydock next month before bidding for a second victory in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
It is three years since Lucinda Russell’s stable star became only the second Scottish-trained winner of the world’s greatest steeplechase, since when he has made just five competitive starts, including a sixth-placed finish in last year’s National.
So far this term the 10-year-old has run with credit at Kelso before placing fifth when tackling the famous fences for a fourth time in last month’s Becher Chase.
Russell has been delighted with her charge since and is keen to give him just one more run before sending him back to Merseyside – with the Edinburgh Gin Chase at Kelso on February 13 currently favoured over Haydock’s Grand National Trial two days later.
“We’ve just entered him for the Grand National and we’ve also entered him for the National Trial at Haydock. His preferred option is the race at Kelso, but we’ve got snow here this morning and it makes sense to keep all bases covered,” said the Kinross handler on Tuesday.
“He seems in very good form. After the Becher we said we’d wait until the National weights come out before we run him again.
“I actually think he ran better in the Becher this year than he did during the season he went on to win the National.
“We’ve been saying for a while we think he’s moving better and feels better this year. If we can keep him that way between now and April, I think we’ll go there with a great chance.”
One For Arthur is a general 33-1 shot for the National on April 4, with Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll the 6-1 favourite to emulate Red Rum with a third success.
The weights for the race will be revealed on February 11.