HEREFORD races were the perfect preparation for next weekend’s Grand National at Aintree.

Charlie Longsdon scored with Eclair On Line in the three mile one furlong conditional jockeys' handicap chase and had one eye on next week's showcase, writes Graham Saveker

Éclair On Line was ridden by jockey Lilly Pinchin striking for home on the final circuit and going on to win by seven lengths

Longsdon has a big week in front of him with his well-fancied Snow Leopardess in the Grand National on Saturday said after the race: "The pressure is on with Snow Leopardess at the moment, but it will be off this time next week.

"She's in great form and they tell me the rain is coming, which will help but she has won a Grade 2 on better ground."

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill and his rider son Jonjo O’Neill junior kept their good run at Hereford going, with a double at the Holmer track which included a first win over fences for the six-year-old Gosuatri in the two mile three furlong handicap chase.

The 4/1 chance seemed to be assisted by the fitting of blinkers for the first time on a course and the partnership stayed on well to deny runner up Gouet Des Bruyeres by 12 lengths.

The partnership had earlier scored in the two mile five furlong novice handicap chase with Orrisdale who denied the local runner Nevilles Cross by a hard fought length and three-quarters.

Worcestershire trainer Henry Oliver was also successful at the meeting when his 12/1 outsider Striking Out, ridden by Lorcan Williams surprised the even money favourite Rathmacknee by out-battling them by half a length on the run-in for the two mile three and a half furlong Maiden hurdle and recording the Abberley trainer’s seventh win of the season.