Cheltenham Cross Country Hero Easysland On Route To National


The David Cottin trained Cheltenham festival hero Easysland is on course to make his seasonal return at Cheltenham next month ahead of his big target of the season at Aintree in the Grand National.

All the hype was around fan favourite Tiger Roll in this year’s renewal of the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival but French raider Easysland came and spoiled the party and did so in decisive fashion.

Sporting the JP McManus green and yellow stripes for the second time in his career having been bought by the owner after winning at Cheltenham in December, the French exploit always looked to be travelling best and when the two-time Grand National hero was unable to quicken up after two out he began to assert.

David Cottin’s gelding finished 17-lengths ahead of Tiger Roll, who still managed to finish 18-lengths ahead of third place Out Sam, which suggests how special this Cross Country ace is.

This season the six year the old will be heading back to Cheltenham seeking consecutive wins in the race, but his main target looks to be the Grand National at Aintree, where he will try and dethrone Tiger Roll for a second time.

(Credit Racing Post) Cottin said: "Easysland will go straight to Cheltenham for his comeback, where he will have to carry a lot of weight.

"He also has the option of the Grand Cross de Compiegne but I would prefer to go to Cheltenham, where he will run at both the November and December meetings.

"We will then have to decide whether to go to the Grand Cross de Pau, because he has an extra race in his programme. We'll have to see whether Pau might be one race too many.

"His two objectives are the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Grand National to follow. We'll see how his first two runs play out and then we'll review things."

Having bounced onto the British racing scene in a big way last term he was given a mark of 152 that might seem hefty, but for this progressive son of Gentlewave it should be workable.

Cottin added: "He has strengthened up a lot and his summer holidays have done him the world of good, so I think he'll be better than ever this season."