EXOTIC DANCER is likely to try to build on his runner-up spot behind Kauto Star at Cheltenham in the Betfair Bowl at Aintree’s Grand National meeting next month.
However, the Jonjo O’Neill-trained seven-year-old, who finished a two-and-a-half-length second in the Gold Cup, is unlikely to take up his engagement in the National.
Owned by Sir Robert Ogden, Exotic Dancer has scored three times at Cheltenham this season and twice chased home Kauto Star – including when second in the King George VI Chase.
O’Neill said on Saturday: "He seems to be grand this morning so I amhappy. He’s had a great season and he might go to Liverpool now for the Betfair Bowl, but I would say it is unlikely he will go for the Grand National."
Aintree is also under consideration for O’Neill’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle casualty Black Jack Ketchum, while Brit Insurance winner Wichita Lineman is pencilled in for the 3m mile novice hurdle there next month.
Gold Cup third Turpin Green has returned to Nicky Richards’s Greystock yard in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgrand fettleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ and will take on Exotic Dancer atAintree.
The Trevor Hemmings-owned chaser, who is also in the National, returned to something like his best when beaten only five lengths by Kauto Star and Richards’ hope that Kauto Star "is out in a field by thenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ is set to be granted.
Richards said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe seems grand and has come looking great. He had a jog up the village this morning and we will let the dust settle but the Betfair Bowl could be the favourite.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â