The Brian Ellison trained Definitly Red is on course to make his second Grand National appearance in April, and his trainer and those backing him for success will be hoping for more luck this time around.
He went into his first National back in 2017 on the back of an impressive win in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and looked to be a very well handicapped horse. However, jockey Danny Cook had his saddle slip during the race after being badly hampered and had no option but to pull up the horse and end his chances of winning the race.
After running in graded races, focus has been turned back onto the National this season and so far he appears to be creeping nicely into the race. He started the season off with a run at Wetherby to blow off the cobwebs. That was followed by a run at Aintree over the big fences to give him more experience, and he did well there to finish fourth, staying on past beaten horses over a trip slightly too short.
He impressed again, this time getting closer, on his third start at Haydock. This was in the Peter Marsh Chase when he finished behind Vintage Clouds, another horse who could find himself lining up at Aintree in April.
Definitly Red was the only horse to really come out of the pack and challenge the winner and finish second, showing his staying power once again and showing that he is coming to form at just the right time. The winner has jumping issues around Aintree over the big fences though, and if there is one horse to take from the race at Haydock it is certainly the one that finished second.
The guess is that he won’t have been fully fit for any of those runs so far, with the big race in April in mind. He will have a run somewhere, potentially back at Haydock in the Grand National trial they have there and that comes after the National weights are published, so he can run well and not get penalised for it.
A step forward and good run there would be no surprise at all given how he has been warming up so far this season. That would see him emerge as a contender to current favourite Tiger Roll in the race, and a shortening of his odds to show that. The Grand National latest betting odds for 2020 show Tiger Roll is still the favourite as he bids to win three titles in a row and make history, with big prices about those behind him.
It is at this time of the year that contenders emerge for this race, and many horses will be moving in the betting market between now and April. One of those could well be Definitly Red, who is showing signs that he is ready for another crack at the big one, and it would be no surprise to see him go close in a trial somewhere which would see his price shorten.