Trevor banking on Vicente in National

PNE owner Trevor Hemmings
PNE owner Trevor Hemmings
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Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings will have a runner in the Randox Health Grand National after purchasing the Paul Nicholls-trained Vicente.

Should the horse triumph at Aintree, Hemmings (right) would make National history by becoming the first person to own four winners of the big race.

He currently shares that honour of winning three Nationals with three other owners, most notably Noel Le Mare, who had Red Rum. Vincente has already won a ‘National’ the Scottish version at Ayr last spring.

Nicholls said: “He (Hemmings) has been an owner of mine for a while and having sadly lost his National winner Many Clouds in January he was looking for a suitable horse for the race.

“Vicente was for sale, a deal was done and he will now go straight to the National. I’ve trained a number of winners for Trevor, who is an an enthusiastic owner, loves the race and enjoys having a runner in it every year.

“He liked the profile of Vicente, who won the Scottish Grand National last season, and is at his best in the spring.”

Previously owned by John Hales and Ian Fogg, things have not quite gone Vicente’s way since his superb success at Ayr last April.

The eight-year-old fell on his comeback in the Hennessy at Newbury in November and finished unplaced in three subsequent outings, most recently at Haydock in February.

Vicente has been allotted 10st 9lb for the National. He should get inside the 40-runner safety mark and is available at around odds of 33-1 about winning the big one on April 8.