Secret Reprieve aimed at Aintree showpiece

Connections are hopeful that Secret Reprieve will make the cut for the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week.

The seven-year-old gelding has not been seen since winning the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in January, but it has now been confirmed he is being aimed at the Aintree showpiece after discussions were held at the weekend between trainer Evan Williams and owners William and Angela Rucker.

There are no guarantees that Secret Reprieve will make the start on April 10, as he needs 10 horses to drop out if he is to feature in the 40-strong field, but Williams is hopeful that he’ll get his chance.

“I have always been a believer in those big handicaps what will be, will be. If those horses come out that would be fantastic and if they don’t, it wasn’t meant to be,” Williams told Nick Luck’s podcast.

“I can’t pretend the plan was we’d end up in the Grand National, because it wasn’t. We only had the green light on Saturday that was what we would do.

“He’s in great form and we wouldn’t even be thinking about the race if he wasn’t.”

The trainer went on to confirm that a run at the Cheltenham Festival in March had also been considered for Secret Reprieve, but they ultimately opted to give him such extra time to prepare for his next port of call.

“The reality was we had looked at Cheltenham and I thought that a couple more weeks would be of benefit to us,” Williams added.

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