Aintree The Target For Arkle Flop Lalor

Aintree The Target For Arkle Flop Lalor

Lalor will look to open a new chapter and put a line through his below-par effort at Cheltenham last week, when he heads to Aintree for the Spring Festival to get his respective career back on track.

His trainer Kayley Woollacott admits she could find no reason for the seven-year-old's cheap showing when being pulled in the Racing Post Arkle on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a race he had been a strong fancy for most of the season to date, having won a trial in eye-catching fashion back in November.

The Devon-based trainer told her Betway blog: "Lalor's run in the Racing Post Arkle was obviously disappointing, because it was clear very early on that he wasn't going.

"For whatever reason, he just didn't fire. There's nothing wrong with him - we've been through everything and can't find anything. He's bucking and squealing at home."

Lalor has been very picky and dependent on ground it must be said, with Woollacott confirming he does not want it too quick or indeed too soft.

His preparation towards the Festival has taken different courses throughout the current campaign, due to the conditions we have had over the winter.

The heavy rain prior to his date in the Henry VIII Novices Chase proved decisive that day, whereby he was never going a yard at the back of the field.

This was a mirror effect of his lacklustre performance in the Novice Grade One seven days ago, given the weather that came down ahead of the opening day of the Festival.

However, Woollacott surprisingly added: "We're not using the ground as an excuse. He wasn't travelling early in the race, so it couldn't have been the ground - and it was soft when he won at Aintree last year.

"We all know horses can have off days - it's just frustrating when you can't give a reason for a disappointing performance.

The 7yo will as expected, head for the Grand National meeting in under three weeks time, where he has enjoyed much cheer in the past two season gone by.

He landed a Grade Two bumper in 2017 and Grade One Novices' hurdle twelve months later, and looks to land a unique hat-trick in the Maghull Novices' Chase this time around - which looks his most obvious target over two-miles.

"We'll just put a line through it and go to Aintree," said Woollacott.

"At the start of the season, we always thought Aintree would be the main aim - because he's won there for the past two years.

"Obviously after the way he won (on chasing debut) at Cheltenham in November, we had to change our plans and decided to go for the Arkle.

"He's run very well both times at Aintree, and we're just hoping for some decent weather in the lead up to it" she said.

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