Bryony Frost is confident Yala Enki can prove equally effective on a quicker surface when attempting to help her become the first female rider to win the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday (10th April).
Having become the first female jockey to win the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon at Kempton Park on Boxing Day in 2020, the 25 year old now hopes stablemate Yala Enki can help her create another slice of history in the world’s most famous chase.
Since suffering a first fence fall on his previous attempt over the unique fences in this season’s William Hill Becher Chase in December, the 11 year old has subsequently finished third in the Welsh National along with registering a second success in the Portman Cup at Taunton.
Although all of Yala Enki’s 11 career victories have been achieved with either soft or heavy as the main going description, Frost feels that the current conditions on the Grand National course, which are cuurently described as good to soft, good in places will be fine for the dour stayer.
Frost said: “The horses at Paul’s are in great order. I see I’ve also been booked to ride My Way in the Topham. That will be an exciting spin for me over the big ones as they are a big buzz.
“It was not ideal falling at the first in the Becher but we have done a lot of practice at home and we’ve let him see replica Grand National fences since that day.
“His form has come on soft as he stays very well but I actually think he jumps better off the better ground. There are two negatives and two positives to take from both sides of better and softer ground.
“I’ve just got to get him out there galloping and at the end of the day a race like that is all about luck.”
Fergal O’Brien is leaning towards stepping Silver Hallmark up in trip for his Grade One debut at Aintree in the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase on Friday, provided conditions are suitable.
The progressive seven year old holds entries in both the extended three mile contest and the SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles on Thursday.
After finishing second on his chasing debut at Exeter the William and Angela Rucker-owned gelding went one better last time out with a front running success in a Grade Two at Haydock Park.
O’Brien said: “He is entered in both the Grade Ones and I am keen to have a go at three miles but it will all depend on the ground.
“We didn’t think he was experienced enough to go around Cheltenham at this stage of his career. When there was no pace on at Haydock, Adam Wedge asked if he could go on and make it. He is a very straightforward and uncomplicated horse that is lovely to train.”