RACING fan Mark Blandford had a fantastic day at the Cheltenham Festival – despite his horse being overtaken in the last 100 yards.
Next Sensation looked on course for a famous win in the final race of the festival – the Grand Annual Chase – but ended up in fourth spot.
“Next Sensation is an out and out galloper and we tried to run the legs off his challenger,” said Blandford.
“It was exciting stuff and our hearts were in our mouths. He was leading by a long way but was caught in the run-in and we were a bit deflated at the end.
“But we had a fantastic day. We splashed out on a meal at a restaurant and took my parents and our daughters.”
The seven-year-old charge has strong county connections – he was bought through Brightwells, is trained by Michael Scudamore and was ridden by Richard Johnson.
Now Blandford saysNext Sensation could be lining up at Aintree on Grand National Day in the John Smith’s Grand Annual Chase, a grade one two-mile race.
The Maghull Novices Chase is run on the third day of the Grand National meeting and is contested by many of the very top novice chasers in the country.
Blandford said: “We think the course at Aintree will suit him. A final decision will be made nearer the time but the plan, at the moment, is for the MaGhull Chase at Aintree on April 5.”