Grand National date the ultimate aim for Vanillier

Gavin Cromwell’s Grand National runner-up Vanillier will have the Aintree marathon in his sights again ahead of the new National Hunt season.

The grey was beaten two and a quarter lengths in the ultimate staying contest last term, picking up £200,000 in prize-money when coming home behind Lucinda Russell’s Corach Rambler after being sent off a 20-1 shot under Sean Flanagan.

Prior to that the gelding was second in another prestigious chase when finishing half a length behind Kemboy in the Grade Three Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February.

Vanillier started out at Down Royal in November last year and while there are no early plans pencilled in for him at this stage, the National will be the ultimate target after last year’s superb effort showed him to be suited to both the fences and the trip.

“He’s got no immediate plans at the minute, he’s only just started back so we’ve no firm plans for him at the minute,” Cromwell said.

“His long-term plan would be to aim him at the Grand National again, so it’d be a case of working back from there.

“He’s not long been back in and started again so we’ll see how we go.”

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