On the Rails ... WITH CHRIS WRIGHT E-mail me at email@example.com.
Byline: CHRIS WRIGHT
? LAST season's Grand National third Teaforthree will have his season geared around a return to Aintree next April - but first the Welsh version is in his sights.
Rebecca Curtis' nine-year-old finished second in the Welsh National at Chepstow last December before running a superb race to finish placed behind Aintree hero Auroras Encore in the world's greatest steeplechase last April.
Curtis is keen to go back to Aintree and try and go a couple of places better on April 6, 2014.
First though the Welsh trainer will head to Chepstow for the Grade Three feature over Christmas.
Curtis said: "He came in a bit later than some of the others as the ground has been so fast, but he seems fine. We might get him back in time for the Welsh National, but we'll see. Wherever he goes beforehand, we obviously want to end up back at Aintree."
While many Grand National contenders will ply their trade over hurdles in order to protect their handicap marks, Curtis believes there is no need with Teaforthree as he has already shown his liking for over the Aintree obstacles. She added: "Having run so well in the National last season, he's going to go back there with a high mark anyway, so there's no point in trying to protect it. He'll get what he gets and we won't worry about that."
." ? THE 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander could start off either on Merseyside in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 23 or wait for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury a week later.
The 12-year-old was out injured for nearly two years before winning the Argento Chase at Cheltenham and then running well for a long way in the Grand National before weakening and being pulled up at Becher's Brook second time around.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies' assistant Carl Llewellyn said: "We're looking forward to running him again. There's Haydock or maybe the Hennessy, because his handicap mark has dropped to153."