Aintree favourite in action

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  • Grand National runner Moor Lane is in action at Newbury in his final prep race this weekend

    Moor Lane, favourite for the Martell Grand National, is all set to strengthen hisclaims for Aintree fame when he turns out for his final prep race, the Sodexho Prestige Handicap Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

    Ian Balding’s talented 10-year-old hit winning form on the Berkshire course in January after suffering a career-threatening injury and two-year lay-off in 1999 when he cut through a boot and halfway through a tendon in the Charisma Gold Cup.

    Moor Lane followed up his Newbury success with a memorable victory in the Great Yorkshire Chase. If he can complete his hat-trick here he will be heading for Aintree on a real high.

    Lambourn trainer Charlie Mann looks set for a double with Gold Quest in theDestination Newbury Handicap Hurdle and Dunston Bill in the Tote Exacta Handicap Chase.

    The Richard Phillips-trained Another General can make it four in a row in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, while St Pirran must not be missed in the opener.

    At Doncaster Lennie Lungo and his jockey Tony Dobbin, who team up with The Bajan Bandit in the SunAlliance Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 10 days, should be on the mark with their Sedgefield winner Full Irish in the Light Infantry Novices’ Hurdle.

    The Venetia Williams-trained Vrin beat subsequent Racing Post Chase winner Gunther McBride over hurdles at Newbury before disappointing with some erratic jumping at Sandown. He should be given another chance in the Tote Scoop 6 Handicap Hurdle.

    It may pay to take a chance with Narrow Water, representing the FerdyMurphy-Adrian Maguire combination in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase.

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