Trainer Peter Bowen is dreaming of Aintree glory next year with Al Co after the nine-year-old landed a shock win in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Jamie Moore, fresh from his win on Sire De Grugy in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, steered the 40-1 chance to a famous victory.
There was a bit of scare in the run home when Al Co was spooked and veered to the right but he gathered himself to record a 1-1/2 length verdict over 2013 winner Godsmejudge (16-1).
“He’ll be aimed at the Grand National next season,” Bowen said. That’s the long-term plan.
“I didn’t see what happened on the run-in. I’d got four horses to watch and it was a job to keep an eye on them all.
“This race has always been the plan and he runs well fresh.
“He got the front too soon, but there was nothing he could do about it and I have a lot of faith in Jamie.
“He was in the best form we’ve ever had him.
Moore said he was lucky not to come off.
“I hit the front soon enough, but you know Peter’s horses are going to run to the line,” Moore said.
“Twice up the run-in he spooked twice at boards or something. I honestly nearly fell off twice and thank God I didn’t.”
The veteran Tidal Bay finished seventh after his early exit from the Grand National a week earlier.
Paul Nicholls revealed there were no plans to retire the 13-year-old just yet.
“There had been talk of Tidal Bay retiring, but he will definitely stay in training next season, as long as he is fit and well,” he said.