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Wayward Prince back on the right track

November 11, 2013 04:44:41 PM

Although he was eventually denied in a tremendous tussle with the progressive youngster Harry Topper, connections must have been delighted with the recent return to form of the formerly smart Wayward Prince who finished a fine runner-up in the Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby recently.

Badly out of form since making a fine start to last season, the Hilary Parrott-trained gelding was the 50/1 outsider of the field for the testing three-mile-one-furlong contest at the ‘A1’ track. He put behind him a miserable return at Cheltenham a few weeks earlier when clearly in need of the run, rallying in tremendous fashion down the home straight to lead three from home, only to be caught in the last hundred yards by Harry Topper (received 4lbs) before going down fighting by just a neck.

The nine-year-old son of Alflora clearly retains plenty of ability and could be in for a good season with a possible crack at the £1 million Crabbies Grand National at Aintree in April, a big target for his handler who trains just a handful of horses from her small yard at Coombe Hill in Gloucestershire.

Last term Wayward Prince also finished second in the Charlie Hall Chase, (to the high-class Silviniaco Conti), before going on to land his only success of the campaign when beating Across The Bay in a listed chase at Aintree’s December meeting. All the signs are that Parrott will look to follow the same path, heading for a return attempt at the valuable prize on the Mildmay course before planning the rest of the season.

A sound jumper who stays well on a decent surface, Wayward Prince is an interesting long-term fancy for the Grand National. There will be more than couple of punters interested in investing at his current Grand National ante-post odds of 50/1.


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