The John Wade-trained Always Right appears back on track for a crack at the John Smith Grand National at Aintree on April 14 after successfully recovering from a recent soft palate operation that connections believe will help the talented stayer return to winning ways, writes Elliot Slater.
The County Durham-based 10-year-old was tremendously progressive last season where he made his mark winning at Kelso in February before following up a month later by beating Lothian Falcon by a head in the valuable Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster.
Sent to Ayr in mid-April for the Scottish Grand National, the gelded son of Right Win came through to hold every chance at the second from home and kept on well after the last under James Reveley, failing by just three-quarters-of-a-length and a neck to get the better of Beshabar and Merigo in one of the most thrilling finishes to a major staying chase for a number of years and fans of the best online 2012 Grand National betting will have been impressed.
Confidently expected to prove himself amongst the leading fancies for this year’s Aintree marathon, things have not gone as well as anticipated for Always Right who began well enough by beating Skippers Brig in style at Kelso in December, but then stopped quickly at Wetherby on Boxing Day when a warm favourite for the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick Chase. He then did exactly the same after appearing to be travelling strongly three from home in the grade 3 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock in February, on both occasions being immediately pulled up.
After having him checked over by a number of vets the decision was taken to operate on the soft palate of the talented performer and initial indications appear to suggest that all is now well and that Always Right is experiencing no problems with his breathing. If he is indeed back to his best then odds of 33/1 will prove tempting for many punters who recall his fine effort in Scotland last term.