One more time for Grand National veteran, Oscar?

8/14/13 - The old adage “horses for courses” does not ringer any truer than at Aintree, where some horses seem to be enthused by the prospect of the daunting spruce fences while others find them an immediate turn-off.

One horse who well and truly fits into the former group is the grand staying chaser, Oscar Time, who once again ran an absolute cracker in the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National where, despite his tremendous record at the track, he was overlooked by most punters and sent off at insulting betting odds of 66/1.

He eventually finished a commendable fourth behind the shock scorer, Aurora’s Encore, having taken up the running under regular amateur pilot, Sam Waley-Cohen, four from home, only to be headed at the second last before keeping on to grab a place in the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’ for the second time in his career.

Although he is getting a bit long in the tooth, there appears every chance that Martin Lynch’s stable star could be back at Aintree again in April for one last hurrah, bidding to become one of the oldest horses for decades to land the four-and-a-half mile marathon. Of course, few will forget his best effort at Aintree, which came in 2011 when he was amongst the leading fancies for the big race.

Patiently ridden by Waley-Cohen, (who had won the Cheltenham Gold Cup just a few weeks earlier on Long Run), the son of Oscar appeared to have been produced to perfection to join Donald McCain’s Ballabriggs at The Elbow, but then just couldn’t get past the eventual winner and came home a gallant runner-up.

Currently offered at racing betting odds of 50/1 in the ante-post list for the 2014 renewal of the showcase contest, there would be few more emotional successes should the old horse manage to finally get the job done.

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