Saint Are Marching Into Second National Shot

8/5/13 - Saint Are had no problems completing the 4m4f course of the Grand National at April earlier this year, as he came home 9th in the 40-runner field.

The Tim Vaughan-trained French-import was 49 lengths behind Auroras Encore who was the surprise winner but the experience of the bigger fences are likely to give connections hope that they have a serious chance next year in Merseyside.

Saint Are was a 66/1 shot in the Grand National betting but is likely to go off a lot shorter in 2014 if he is amongst the entries once again for the world famous steeplechase now that he has proven he can handle the unique obstacles in the race.

The seven-year old has had plenty of experience since making the switch from France in 2011. He opened up at Cheltenham in a novice hurdle won by Bobs Worth, the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

Saint Are finished well behind the Nicky Henderson runner in seventh place. However, he did improve from that run when appearing at Market Rasen next time out, this time beaten by just one rival in Problema Tic.

His first win eventually came at Aintree when he was a surprise 33/1 winner of the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle on their Grand National Meeting.

Another win followed 12 months later at the same course in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase over fences. This time he was much shorter in the betting, at odds of 11/1.

Going into the new season, he has now had 13 runs in chases under his belt as he bids to give Vaughan his first success in the Grand National in April. Dougie Costello is likely to be on board once again as he also rode him at Sandown in the Bet365 Gold Cup where they came home in a disappointing 10th.

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