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National the target for Chief Dan George.

Byline: Tony Elves

CHIEF DAN GEORGE will be hoping to be back on the warpath in the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 10 - if he makes the cut.

The Coral Scottish National, in which he finished fifth last year, had been mooted as a target after the ten-year-old provided Jimmy Moffatt with a first Cheltenham Festival winner.

The ten-year-old, under Paddy Aspell, held on to beat The Package by a head in the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase last Tuesday.

However, connections have now decided to take the more ambitious route to Aintree, in which he currently has 10st 2lb.

Moffatt said: "He has come out of the race really well and unlike his previous race at Doncaster, where he was a little stiff for three or four days afterwards, he is quite fresh after the race.

"As far as the Grand National is concerned, I am going to leave him in because he'll never get in the race again on a mark of 136.

"He is top on Racing Post Ratings and Topspeed ratings and I reckon he's about a stone well in.

"He's the best handicapped horse in the race and I feel it would be daft not to leave him in.

"Paddy said he galloped all the way to the line and if The Package had got to him earlier, he was sure he would have found more."

Chief Dan George will need at least 33 above him in the National weights to come out.

The second scratching deadline for the marathon is today before the confirmation stage on April 5 and the final declaration stage on April 8.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2010
Words:275
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