Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings eyeing up Grand National record

Preston North End chief Trevor Hemmings will bid to become the most successful owner in Randox Health Grand National history this year.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 10:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:05 am

And a shock decision to run one of his favourite horses Vintage Clouds in the world’s greatest steeplechase on April 4 has increased Hemming’s chances of landing his fourth title.

A first-fence casualty in the 2019 Grand National, trainer Sue Smith had said popular grey Vintage Clouds would definitely not run in the £1m Aintree showpiece.

However, after an impressive victory in last month’s Group Two Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock Park Vintage Clouds could still take his chance in the world’s richest jump race.

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Vintage Clouds in action

Hemmings is the joint most successful trainer in Grand National history with three wins – Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015)

And another victory for Hemmings would mean the world to him in a race he says is the greatest in the world. Smith, who trained 2013 Randox Health Grand National champion Auroras Encore, said: “Having discussed it at length with Trevor Hemmings, the owner, we decided that having won so well in the Peter Marsh Chase, it is worth keeping our options open until nearer the time.

“Vintage Clouds has slightly struggled over the Aintree fences, particularly in the Becher, but we want to keep all options on the table for the time being. He jumped superbly in the Peter Marsh and has come out of the race very well.

“So, after consideration we have decided to enter Vintage Clouds for the Grand National.”

Hemmings also has Lake View Lad (Nick Alexander) and Warriors Tale (Paul Nicholls), winner of the 2018 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences, entered.

The Randox Health Grand National Trial takes place at Haydock Park on Saturday, February 15.

Contact 0344 579 3006, thejockeyclub.co.uk/haydock.