Cheltenham Festival can pique Grand National interest

Cheltenham Festival can pique Grand National interest

It may be commonplace for Grand National contenders to run at the Cheltenham Festival beforehand, but this year could be extra special thanks to Noble Yeats and Hewick.

While most Grand National runners tend to run in the Cross Country Chase, as Delta Work is doing, both Noble Yeats and Hewick will be taking on the likes of Galopin Des Champs and Bravemansgame in the Gold Cup, with the hope of completing an unlikely Gold Cup-Grand National double.

Winning both races is an unsurprisingly rare feat, with L’Escargot the most recent to achieve it, in the 1970’s, though only Golden Miller has won both races in a 12 month period, way back in 1934. And both horses actually boast realistic claims to at least go close.

Hewick has previously shown his stamina with a win in the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase, followed that up with further wins in the Galway Plate and American National, and could well have the Kerry National to his name, too if not for unseating at the last. Trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon is bullish, with Hewick available at 28/1 for the Gold Cup.

Noble Yeats has one half of the unlikely double already sewn up, after becoming the first 7 year old Grand National winner since 1940. Further wins in the listed M.W. Hickey Memorial and then the Many Clouds Chase have only strengthened his claims for the Gold Cup, where he sits as the 9/1 fourth favourite.

A win for either in Cheltenham’s showpiece race will only heighten anticipation for this year’s Aintree marathon, with tickets for Grand National day already in short supply.

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