Tom Lacey reacts to Randox Grand National weights
Tom Lacey hopes Kimberlite Candy (10st 10lb) can turn his dreams into reality on the biggest stage of them all by striking gold in the Randox Grand National.
The Herefordshire trainer has long believed that the nine year old, who he purchased as an unbroken store horse in 2015, is tailor-made for the unique Aintree race on April 10th.
In both of his previous starts over the famous fences Kimberlite Candy is yet to finish outside the first three, having filled the runner-up spot in the last two renewals of the Becher Chase.
With the step up to the extended four and a quarter miles expected to bring about further improvement, Lacey anticipates a big run from the JP McManus-owned gelding in the world's most iconic steeplechase.
Lacey said: It is lovely to have a horse going for a race like this coming from an English point-to-point background. I bought him as an unbroken store horse and broke him in myself. From an early age we joked and said he could be a Grand National horse as he was such an accurate jumper and that seed was sown in the Becher Chase first time out when he was not beaten far by Walk In The Mill.
The winner of this years Becher (Vieux Lion Rouge) hosed up but I was still satisfied with the run of Kimberlite Candy.
He feels like the finished article now. He has not done much wrong over park fences but he has jumped very impressively around there (Aintree) twice in the Becher and he seems to be very slick over them.
All he needs is that bit of juice in the ground with an April shower or two.
The Grand National has been the target from the moment he walked back in the yard this season. I think the Becher Chase is a little bit short for him and the way he hit the line in the Classic Chase last year I cannot envisage going up to the National trip is going to be a problem to him.
I would like to think he can go there with a real live chance. Lacey has earmarked the My Oddsboost On Betfair Swinley Chase at Ascot on Saturday as the next target for Kimberlite Candy, but insists he would be just as happy to bypass the three mile Listed contest if considered detrimental to his chances of glory at Aintree.
He said: He might go to Ascot on Saturday but like a lot of yards we will be careful what we run given the ground. A season can be left behind by running on ground like it is at the moment so we have just got to be sensible. He could easily have a spin over hurdles or a racecourse gallop instead of going to Ascot. Should Kimberlite Candy go on to claim Grand National glory then Lacey could prove a hard man to track down at Aintree-even with restricted numbers in attendance.
He added: We are lucky to have a horse going there like this as we are a relatively small yard and if he is there at the elbow in front I dont think my heart will be in my chest.
I would probably be hiding somewhere, put it this way I would be stood somewhere on my own watching it. It would be nice if there was some owners and maybe a limited number of spectators there to create a bit of atmosphere but at the end of the day it is the Grand National and it will throw up a story whatever happens.