Kim Bailey will take a familiar route with this year’s Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri after earmarking the BetBright Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster as his next port of call.
The eight-year-old will bid for a second successive win in the three and a quarter mile contest on Town Moor on March 5 before attempting to go one better in the Aintree marathon.
After finishing fifth in a Grade One event at Down Royal on his seasonal return last month the Paul and Clare Rooney-owned gelding put in a brave effort on his return to the famous fences at the Merseyside track on Saturday when coming a close third in the Becher Chase.
Bailey said: “I was really impressed with him and it was a wonderful race to watch. He is only 15.3 hands and 11st 12lb was a real anchor.
“I’ve never seen a horse jump those fences as well as he does. He has been there twice now and hasn’t touched a fence. He jumps those fences better than he jumps ordinary ones.
“He won’t run again now most probably until the Grimthorpe Chase. That will be his prep race for the Grand National.
“With Many Clouds being in the race (National) we will be six or seven pounds lower than him so it means we won’t be carrying top weight. Every pound off will make a big difference.”