Jim Dreaper seeks a win at the Grand National this week after almost three decades since his last involvement in the race. The talented former Jockey turned trainer will take nine year old Goonyella, who won the midlands Grand National last year, to Aintree in a bid to secure a brand new victory for his records. The trainer insists that his horse is good to go but that he could fair better on heavier ground.
Jim Dreaper was famed for his runner-up position aboard Black Secret in the Grand National 45 years ago. The following year Dreaper turned to training and worked with the same horse to secure a third place in the contest.
Now seeking a similar level of success in 2016 the Irish established trainer is hoping for a little more rain as we approach the end of the week:
“What Aintree has been having is what I call apologetic rain, it will be perfect ground but English good to soft is hardly soft at all by our standards. Really we need the ground to be soft to heavy to increase our chance.”
Referring to his brown gelding, Goonyella, Dreaper said that on quicker ground at Ayr he was chasing the whole way. He went on to say that Aintree isn’t the sort of place you would want your horse to be performing in such a way. He did however, reside himself to the fact that Goonyella is that type of horse.
Speaking of his horses recent performances stated that he was happy with how well he ran at Naas. Dreaper believes that if Goonyella jumps well as he did there then he has a good each-way chance. That chance will only increase if the ground gets softer.
Reminiscing about his own near miss aboard Black Secret, he said:
“I nearly did it on Black Secret, as a youngster I always had the ambition to ride in the National – not necessarily to win it – because it’s such a marvellous occasion. It was a great day. It was almost a perfect day.”
Let’s hope he gets the result he deserves this weekend!
Author Lisa Wood
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