Malton-based Malcolm Jefferson enjoyed a tremendous time at the recent Cheltenham Festival recording two victories at the most prestigious meeting on the whole jumps racing calendar, and the shrewd Yorkshireman is hoping that his luck holds when According to Pete takes his chance in the forthcoming John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on April 14, writes Elliot Slater.
As if winning the Pertemps Hurdle Final with Cape Tribulation (14/1) wasn’t enough, Jefferson then sent out Attaglance (20/1) to land the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle to cap a dream week at Cheltenham, and now According to Pete is entrusted with maintaining the run of success for the small yard at major meetings as he bids to add to two big wins already this season that have seen him elevated by horse racing betting tips to the status of genuine contender for ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’.
The 11-year-old gelding first hit the headlines this term when springing a 33/1 shock at Wetherby on Boxing Day in defeating Helpston by a length to land the Grade 3 Rowland Merrick Chase, a victory that some judges determined was no more than a flash in the pan. A little over three weeks later though, (and racing of a 7lb higher mark of 142), the son of Accordion repeated the feat at a higher level when putting up a brave effort to hang on in desperate ground, beating Pearlysteps by three-and-a-half-lengths in the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, a performance that made Grand National fans sit up and take notice.
Another solid effort off a 5lb higher mark when runner-up to the talented Master Of The Hall at Kelso in the Totesport Premier Chase, confirmed that Jefferson’s charge is holding his form well, and although he is smaller in stature than most of his Aintree rivals, According to Pete has a serious jump in him that should see him round the Liverpool course safely and give those that support him at best racing odds of up to 40/1 a good run for their money.