Nacarat - Kempton 25/02/2012

Nacarat could bid to follow up his Kempton victory in the Betfred Bowl

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Ground key to another Bowl bid by Nacarat

VETERAN chaser Nacarat could attempt to win a second consecutive Betfred Bowl at Aintree's Grand National meeting after delighting fans with victory at Kempton on Saturday.

The Tom George-trained 11-year-old won Kempton's Grade 3  Racing Plus Chase after running out a clear winner from Hector's Choice.

However, the popular grey will only run in the Grade 1 Bowl at Aintree if he gets the same good ground he thrived on at Kempton, his trainer said.

"He'll miss Cheltenham. He went to Punchestown last year but we won't do that. He'll go to Aintree if the ground is right but the ground is so important to him," George said.

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.