Grand National contender Great Endeavour goes into the feature race in April on the back of a positive season so far with just three runs.
The David Pipe-trained eight year old started the campaign in the best possible manner by winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham back in November. Timmy Murphy rode Great Endeavour home to a comfortable seven length victory ahead of Quantitativeeasing. Those looking at the best ante-post Grand National odds will have been impressed.
He followed that success up at Cheltenham by finishing a respectable fourth in the Hennessy Gold Cup two weeks later, in a race that was won by Carruthers, despite a late challenge from Pipe’s hope.
Three runs in two months then took it out of the former Byrne Gold Plate winner, as he ran a disappointing 11th place in the Spinal Research The Atlantic 4 Gold Cup in December on his latest run. Quantitativeeasing got his revenge for the narrow defeat earlier in the campaign at Cheltenham.
The plan for the rest of the season looks unclear for Great Endeavour, but connections are refusing to rule out a shot at the famous steeplechase race at Aintree in April, despite the fact that the horse he has never run over a trip of more than 3m3f.
His last trip to Merseyside was in 2011 during the National meeting when he finished sixth in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase.
With the Cheltenham Festival approaching in March, Pipe does have options for his nine year old before going over the big obstacles in April. The Festival Handicap Chase and Ryanair Chase are possible targets as he aims for his second win at the biggest meeting of the year on the national hunt calendar.