Jim Dreaper is already plotting a return raid to Aintree for mudlark Goonyella following his admirable effort in defeat in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Although not quite having the pace to go with those at the head of the field, last year’s Midlands National hero stuck on well to take fifth on his third outing over the unique fences.

Dreaper is now likely to give Goonyella a break before charting a path back towards Aintree in 12 months’ time.

Dreaper said: “We were delighted that he got round and came back safe and sound.

“He arrived back in at 7.10 (on Sunday morning) and he was certainly a lot fresher than the two men that got off the lorry with him.

“There were a few minor scratches on his hind legs, and he is now out in the field with his mate.

“I tried to be honest as I could before the race – for him to have a chance he would have needed a Red Marauder year (2001) as he needs it bottomless as he is just missing a gear or two.

“He has had a hard race and the owners would prefer it if he didn’t run again this season and I don’t think there are too many races around now for horses like him.

“If everything goes right, the long-term plan would to be to go back to the National next year.”