Robert Walford admits the Grand National at Aintree is the key race for Walk In The Mill this spring and everything he does will be geared towards it.
The nine-year-old scored over the National fences in the Becher Chase in December, advertising his credentials for the big race when doing so.
Next month’s Betfred Eider Chase has been under consideration for Walk In The Mill but his trainer has opted out of that race, with his desire to avoid “a slog” key to the thinking.
Instead, Walk In The Mill is likely to get a prep run after the Grand National weights are announced on February 12.
“Walk In The Mill is in good form and he will probably run in a chase after the weights are published – and then we will think about where we go,” said Walford.
“I’m not going to run him in the Eider, because I don’t want him having a slog before the Grand National – that is our number one target.”
Walk In The Mil is currently a 25/1 shot with Betfred to win the Aintree Grand National on April 6.
Given that he is an energetic sort at home, Walford sent Walk In The Mill to Chepstow this month for a spin over hurdles, with the aim of burning off some of that energy and keeping his charge sound.
“I will run him in something over two and a half or two and three-quarter miles. The Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury might be something we look at,” Walford added.
“He won’t run on ground worse than good to soft before the National. If it is quicker than that at Aintree we will run him, but we won’t risk it before.
“We ran him over hurdles at Chepstow the other day because he is a bit of lunatic at home, so he was better off going to the races and getting a bit of gas out of his system.”
Tiger Roll is trading at 20/1 with Betfred to retain the Aintree Grand National for trainer Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House.
Odds subject to change