Nicky Henderson was once again top trainer at the Aintree Grand National meeting for a fourth time last season when his five winners put him well clear of his rivals.
The roll of honour was even more special as the famous five were all Grade 1 winners with We Have A Dream taking the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle, Might Bite the Betway Bowl Chase, L’Ami Serge the Aintree Hurdle, Terrefort the Mildmay Novices, and Santini completing the good work with a success in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
Henderson had previously won the Champion Trainers title in 2014 (4 winners), 2013 (5 winners) and 2012 (six winners) and it clearly a meeting where his team are particularly effective.
Altior may not be making that massive step up to two and a half miles yet but he ultra-consistent and classy Top Notch looks like be throwing his hat into the ring in the JLT (Melling) Chase and game Coral Cup winner William Henry goes on the Graded race hunt in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle.
Buveur D’Air was looking for a trio of Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham last month when falling at the third and he looks for compensation in the Aintree Hurdle where he has solid back up from stablemates Brain Power and Verdana Blue.
Pentland Hills justified his trainer’s decision to send a once-raced horse for the JCB Triumph Hurdle when coming up trumps at Cheltenham last month and bids to carry on the good work in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle and the likes of Champ and Angels Breath look to get back on the winning trail in their respective contests.
Valtor could well be aiming to provide Henderson with a first Grand National success and all in all it looks like being a very busy week ahead for the Master of Seven Barrows.
Henderson kindly spoke to Tony Elves of attheraces.com about his hope for three-day fixture where success means so much.