Noble Yeats to return in new year

Noble Yeats will not be seen until the new year when he will once again be geared towards the Randox Grand National.

The first seven-year-old National winner since 1940 when triumphing on Merseyside in the hands of Sam Waley-Cohen in 2022, he relished the Aintree fences once again when a keeping on fourth behind Corach Rambler in the defence of his title earlier in the year.

However, he has been given plenty of time to recover from a busy 2022-23 season and having just returned to trainer Emmet Mullins, will not be rushed back into action.

“He had a hard season last year so he’s had an extended summer break and has only just arrived back to me earlier this month,” explained Mullins.

“We won’t see him until after Christmas and I would imagine all roads will lead back to Aintree.”

Noble Yeats could return over hurdles in the new year as connections plot a path back to Aintree, with another crack at Auteuil’s Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris – in which he was a running-on seventh in 2023 – also on the agenda.

Mullins added: “There’s no races really in mind and I might even take in a conditions hurdle – he’s won one maiden hurdle – and start him off slowly and build up to the National and then back to France.

“They are two aims for the back-end of the season.”

Noble Yeats entered the Gold Cup reckoning when landing the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last December, but the second half of his 2022-23 campaign was hallmarked by staying on strongly to hit the frame but ultimately coming up short in his big-race assignments.

Sean Bowen was often seen having to push Noble Yeats along as he looked slightly outpaced during the midpoint of those races but despite cheekpieces being employed for his last three starts, Mullins is in no doubt about his star chaser’s will to win.

“It’s a funny one and I’m sure if someone had their tracker speeds on him then he is not slowing down mid-race, it is probably as fast as he can go,” said Mullins.

“He’s a relentless stayer and no one can fault his attitude in a finish.”

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