Walk In The Mill won the Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences on 8th December 2018
The Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle won’t be used as a stepping stone to the 2019 Grand National by Walk In The Mill.
The Nine-year-old romped home to victory as he successfully negotiated the big Aintree obstacles in the Becher Chase last month and he is now very much on course to have a crack at the greatest steeplechase in the world in a little over ten weeks’ time. The likes of Betfair, Unibet and Paddy Power have Walk In The Mill priced ante-post at 33/1 to win the 2019 Grand National behind current market leader and 2018 winner Tiger Roll which is trading at 25/1 with some firms.
Once the weights for the Grand National are announced on Tuesday 12th February, trainer Robert Walford will give Walk In The Mill his next run although while the Eider Chase takes place just eleven days later, Walford will be swerving this race and run him in something less demanding.
Walford said: ”Walk In The Mill is in good form and he will probably run in a chase after the weights are published – and then we will think about where we go.
“I’m not going to run him in the Eider, because I don’t want him having a slog before the Grand National – that is our number one target.
“I will run him in something over two and a half or two and three-quarter miles. The Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury (on March 3) might be something we look at.”
The Blandford-based trainer is cautious about running his stable star on too-quick surface before he appears at Aintree in April. He continued: “He won’t run on ground worse than good to soft before the National.
“If it is quicker than that at Aintree we will run him, but we won’t risk it before.
“We ran him over hurdles at Chepstow the other day because he is a bit of lunatic at home, so he was better off going to the races and getting a bit of gas out of his system.
“That was the thinking behind that.”