MUCH Marcle trainer Tom Lacey is confident he has the well-fancied Kimberlite Candy in prime condition ahead of Saturday's Grand National at Aintree, writes Graham Saveker.

The nine-year-old, owned by renowned owner-gambler J P McManus, has been prominent in the ante-post market for the Aintree showpiece, for a number of months but has not raced since finishing second in the Becher Chase over the National fences in December.

Lacey is not too concerned about Kimberlite Candy’s absence as the horse has often shown he can go well when fresh and whilst initially he was to have one more run through the winter, due to a combination of circumstances that never happened.

He also took a late decision to swerve his intended target, the Premier Chase at Kelso, won impressively coincidently by current National favourite Cloth Cap.

Lacy is confident that the horse, a current 12/1 shot, is in prime condition as his big target approaches.

He said: “All the serious work is done, he appears in great nick and it’s a case of getting to Aintree fit and feeling well in himself.

"He’s a horse who’s previously run well fresh so he won’t be galloping between now and race day.”

Trainer Venetia Williams was famously successful with outsider Mon Mone in the past in the Aintree showpiece and she has Achille, also owned by the same owner Vida Bingham, as a possible runner.

Although he had a disappointing run in the Midlands Grand National last time out, previous to that he had run well at Haydock for regular partner Charlie Deutsch. However, as only the top 40 entries in the race will head to post at 5.15pm on Saturday he will need non-runners to drop out to allow him to run.

Other possible local runners in Saturday’s four and a half mile marathon include Clyro trainer Katy Price’s Minnellacelebration who has a mixed experience of the famous track but could out-perform his current 100/1 odds for owner Nick Elliott.

Local Malvern owner Clive Hitchings has his Yala Enki entered from the Paul Nicholls yard and although he has eleven stone three to carry this consistent dour stayer is sure to run well and is likely to be ridden by Bryony Frost.