Irish National on Mountainous agenda
The Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse is Richard Lee's preferred target for his Welsh Grand National hero Mountainous.
Last Updated: 04/02/14 12:30pm
The nine-year-old claimed a thrilling victory in the Chepstow mud at the end of December and turned out under a 7lb higher mark for last weekend's West Wales National at Ffos Las.
Paul Moloney's mount was not disgraced in finishing fifth under a big weight and while the Grand National at Aintree and the Scottish National at Ayr will also be considered this spring, Lee is currently favouring a trip to Ireland.
Lee said: "Going from carrying 10st at Chepstow to 11st 9lb at Ffos Las is a big difference, especially in very attritional ground. He ran a great race and came out of the race remarkably well. I think the weight probably just beat him in the end.
"He's entered in the Grand National Trial at Haydock (February, 15), but that will certainly come too soon.
"He's in the English National, he could go for the Scottish National if the ground was soft enough and the other race that is under consideration is the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
"I think Fairyhouse is pencilled in in fairly big letters and I think out of the three, that would probably be the favourite at this stage, provided conditions are suitable.
"He needs cut in the ground and if the ground isn't soft enough, he won't run anywhere. He's done his job for the season already and doesn't owe anybody anything."
The Herefordshire handler was delighted to see Grey Gold get off the mark for the season in a valuable handicap chase at Sandown last weekend.
The nine-year-old relished the ultra-testing ground and his future targets will depend on where he can get his favoured conditions.
"He's always been a very nice horse. He's a bit fragile, but very talented," said Lee.
"He jumped very well and I thought Sandown would suit him, but he did have heavy ground, which he really needs. It's job done with him as well in many ways and where he goes next will totally depend on the ground."