Moore hoping for rain boost ahead of Nassalam run

Gary Moore would like to see the rain keep falling ahead of Nassalam’s tilt at the Randox Grand National.

The seven-year-old relished the testing ground at Chepstow when romping to an impressive 34-length success in the Welsh Grand National and his handler is keen to see similar conditions ahead of his attempt to add the Aintree version to his CV.

Raised a whopping 16lb for his marathon success over the Christmas period, Nassalam is the highest-rated British contender in the Grand National line-up and his Lower Beeding-based handler elected to send him to the Cheltenham Festival to warm up for National duty in the Gold Cup.

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He was one of the first beaten in the blue riband and was pulled up before four out, but Moore reports him to have come out of the race in A1 condition and all roads will now lead to Merseyside for the world’s most famous steeplechase.

“He didn’t do an awful lot in the Gold Cup and he’s absolutely fine,” said Moore.

“All being well, the National is still the plan and hopefully it keeps raining as I need all the help I can get. We know rain is very important to him.”

Although Nassalam disappointed in the Cotswolds, there were plenty of positives to take from Salver’s fine run in the Triumph Hurdle when third behind taking winner Majborough.

Unbeaten heading into the event, he was the first British-trained juvenile home and is now enjoying a well-earned summer break before another season over hurdles beckons in the autumn.

“He came out of Cheltenham well and he’s waiting to go out in the field when the grass gets growing and it warms up a little bit,” said Moore.

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Salver has excelled over hurdles this term
Salver has excelled over hurdles this term (David Davies/PA)

“He killed his handicap mark but he was the best of the English in the Triumph, it was a great run.

“He’s finished and you won’t see him until the ground comes soft again, which will hopefully be around October time.

“He will stick to hurdles as he’s too young to go chasing. It’s a tough year that four-year-old year.”

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