Threeunderthrufive using Wigley Classic Chase as Grand National test

Getty Images

Carrying top-weight on Saturday, Paul Nicholls' charge was in the mix in the Coral Gold Cup in late November, but his challenge came to an premature end when he unseated Adrian Heskin at the first fence.

An alternative run in the Welsh Grand National did not come to fruition as he was felt to be a little off his best when declarations were made, but connections are hoping he will develop in a National horse and that Warwick is a successful stepping stone to that target. Iain Turner, racing manager to owners the McNeill family, said: "He's in really good shape. Ideally he wouldn't want to be carrying 12st in what is increasingly bad ground, but he doesn't qualify for Taunton next week, for the Portman Cup, so we need to get cracking with him. "Possibly his best novice chase appearance was on the same card last year, when he won the Grade Two (Hampton Novices' Chase). "Ever since he won at Cheltenham as a novice chaser, Paul said he was a National horse in time and I think that what we always had in mind.

"Newbury didn't go to plan. It will be interesting as this is handicap company and quite a big field, bigger than most of the races he's run in so far.

"These are all things he's going to have to learn if he's going to be going for a National."

The article Threeunderthrufive using Wigley Classic Chase as Grand National test appeared first on Planetsport.com.