Grand National Trial runner-by-runner guide to Saturday’s 14.40 at Haydock

A marathon slog on heavy ground awaits the 11 runners.


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*There will be an inspection at Haydock at 8am on Saturday morning

Some Aintree clues could be on offer on Saturday in the Grade 3 Grand National Trial at Haydock.

A field of 11 runners have been declared for the Grade 3 handicap chase including Lord Du Mensil, who claimed the honours in last year’s contest but couldn’t double up in the big one.


Blaklion, the highest of the UK finishers in the 2021 Grand National when placing sixth, is also set to run as well as multiple Grade 1 winner Bristol De Mai.

You’ll find Timeform’s analysis of all 11 horses plus an early tip from the racing boffins below.



Bristol De Mai

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 11 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Classy front-runner who is a three-time winner of Haydock’s Betfair Chase. Pulled up in latest renewal but only just edged out in a smart event at Lingfield last month. Respected on rare handicap run.

Lord Du Mesnil

Trainer: Richard Hobson Jockey: Kielan Woods Age: 9 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Enhanced good record here when making all in this last year off 1 lb lower. Proved as good as ever when second in Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day, then might have found Peter March coming too soon.

Sam Brown

Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 10 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Lightly-raced 10-y-o who left reappearance well behind when beaten ½-length in Peter Marsh here (25.6f) 4 weeks ago, sticking to task. Should be in the mix again up 2lb.


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Tom O’Brien Age: 8 Weight: 10st 12lbs

All the better for return when narrow winner at Doncaster (3m) over Christmas, having to show stamina and guts. However, struggled upped in class in Peter Marsh here 4 weeks ago.


Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 13 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Still smart despite advancing years and built on return when landing a veterans’ event over 25f here in December. Followed up in even more dominant fashion over C&D since and sure to go well again.



Time To Get Up

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr. Age: 9 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Much improved for switch to chasing for new yard last term, conceding first run but still winning well in Midlands National at Uttoxeter. Lacklustre display on return but should relish this test.

The Galloping Bear

Trainer: Ben Clarke Jockey: Ben Jones Age: 9 Weight: 10st 7lbs

Multiple point winner who looked good prospect when landing pair of hunter chases last term. Improved again to defy top weight on handicap debut at Lingfield (28.8f) last month and remains unexposed.

Secret Reprieve

Trainer: Evan Williams Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 8 Weight: 10st 5lbs

Big improver last winter, running out an impressive winner of Welsh National at Chepstow. Only fifth in the latest renewal but was returning from a 12-month absence. Remains on a workable mark.


Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Charlie Hammond Age: 8 Weight: 10st 4lbs

Generally progressive chaser who has not always been seen to best effect, but it all came together when impressive winner of Tommy Whittle here (25.5f). However, stamina stretched in this last year.

Mint Condition

Trainer: Jennie Candlish Jockey: Brian Hughes Age: 8 Weight: 10st 4lbs

Three-time hurdle winner who has taken well to chasing, scoring in good style here (22f) in December. Disappointed in Grade 2 novice at Warwick since but that might have came too soon. Up in trip.

Sidi Ismael

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: David Noonan Age: 8 Weight: 10st 2lbs

Won staying Kelso handicap hurdle for Keith Dalgleish in April and made it 3 from 3 for this yard on second chase start at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. However, let down by jumping at Catterick since.

Grand National Trial Tips

A strong renewal with plenty of depth, but last season’s Welsh National winner SECRET REPRIEVE is still very much of interest off his current mark given how he shaped in this December’s renewal following a 12-month absence. The classy Bristol de Mai heads the weights and must be respected given his record here, while the thriving Blaklion looks sure to go well again (twice runner-up in this race).

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