The progressive Ashes House is an intended runner in the Aintree Festival Bumper at the showcase three-day meeting that begins on April 12 and connections are hopeful that the low-born gelding can scale the heights on one of the biggest stages in National Hunt racing, writes Elliot Slater.

The gelded son of Dushyantor changed hands for just 700 euros at the Goresbridge Sales in Ireland in March 2010, but after getting no further than the first fence on his first outing in point-to-points he then won a maiden point at Loughanmore, after which he was sold again for 19,000 guineas at the Newbury Sales. Bought by Diamond Racing for a similar sum a short time after, Ashes House made a promising debut under rules for the Tim Vaughan yard, running second in a Fontwell bumper then sluicing home by an eye-catching 20 lengths on his return visit to the Sussex course in similar company in November. Those betting Grand National money should remember this.

Clearly well served by the testing ground that day, connections decided to go in search of similar conditions in their bid to follow up and sent the six-year-old on the long trek north to Carlisle in December where he didn’t let the side down in slamming Snapping Turtle by 11-lengths in bog-like conditions at the Cumbrian circuit. People looking at the Betfred Grand National odds need to bear this in mind.

Vaughan is convinced that while Ashes House goes well on a soft surface he isn’t without ability on better ground and is expecting his charge to put up a bold show in the valuable Aintree bumper where he hopes Richard Johnson will be available to take the mount having partnered the horse to both his victories earlier in the term. From very lowly beginnings Ashes House is now set to perform on one of the biggest stages in the sport and will certainly not be out of place amongst some better bred rivals.

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