Jedd O’Keeffe is hoping for rain at Aintree for Sam Spinner in the Stayers Hurdle on Grand National day and is relieved Paisley Park will not be there.
Trainer Jedd O’Keeffe says Sam Spinner showed enough in his performance at Cheltenham to persuade him to send him to Aintree for April’s Grand National meeting.
The seven-year-old was viewed as an outsider for the Stayers’ Hurdle after a difficult 12 months – finishing fifth in the same race in 2018 and unseating his rider twice in the build-up – but produced a strong showing when chasing home favourite Paisley Park.
Having finished ahead of the likes of much-fancied Faugheen and Supasundae, O’Keeffe was delighted to see Sam Spinner return to form.
The Leyburn handler is now plotting his charge’s next outing and has the Grade 1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle on Grand National day on his radar.
With Paisley Park’s connections having confirmed he will not be heading to Merseyside, O’Keeffe is bullish over Sam Spinner’s chances of adding to his sole Grade 1 triumph.
O’Keeffe told the Racing Post: “We’re really happy with him. Obviously he’s had a quiet time since Cheltenham and the plan is hopefully to go to Aintree.
“I would find it very hard to imagine we would ever beat Paisley Park because I don’t think that horse has got any chinks in his armour so if he’s not going to Aintree that’s a big help.
“I think the track is fine for him though it looks pretty dry through until the end of next week so I could do with some rain up there.”
Sam Spinner ran in the same race last year, going off as the favourite only to come home in third.
“He was a tired horse and under-performed when he ran up there last year so we’re hoping that as he is a year older and a year stronger that won’t be the case this time,” said O’Keeffe.
Sam Spinner is currently priced at 33/1 with Betfred for next year’s Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham with Paisley Park the 3/1 favourite to retain his crown.
Odds subject to change.