• Hugs all round as veteran 66-1 outsider Definitly Red eyes National glory

By Andrew Atkinson

Brian Ellison trained 12-year-old veteran Definitly Red lines-up in the 2021 Randox Health Aintree Grand National on Saturday under 11st 1lb, best priced at 66-1.

Definitly Red, who finished fourth in the bet365 Premier Chase at Kelso run over 2m 7f on March 6, will be ridden by Henry Brooke, due to Danny Cook suffering a career-threatening eye injury in November and remains sidelined.

Brooke, back in the saddle after also being sidelined having suffered a serious neck injury,  was up on Definitly Red over the National fences, when fourth in the 2019 Becher Chase in 2019.

“He’s crying out for a trip these days. He’s not as quick as he once was,” said Ellison.

“He jumped well at Kelso and he kept galloping to the line. I couldn’t have asked for more. The winner Cloth Cap was very good,” he added.

Definitly Red was eight-years-old when he had his first tilt at the Grand National. Since, he has won four Grade Two races, and noted when sixth behind Native River in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Definitly Red: Brian Ellison couldn’t be happier ahead of Grand National.
Definitly Red: Brian Ellison couldn’t be happier ahead of Grand National.

Definitly Red stayed on in both the Becher and the Peter Marsh Chase under 11st 10lbs on both occasions, prior to an easy victory in the Premier Chase at Kelso.

Definitly Red was set to run in the 2020 National, prior to the coronavirus thwarting the race taking place, when cancelled.

“I think Definitly Red will win the National,” said Ellison, prior to last year’s race cancellation.

After running in Graded races, focus on the 12-year-old has been turned back onto the National in recent seasons.

North Yorkshire trainer Ellison put his money down in 2020, backing the horse at the 33-1, backed down to 20-1, and 16-1: “I’ve always thought the race would suit him, as he’s a proper stayer,” said Ellison.

In the 2017 National Definitly Red was hindered after The Young Master fell in front of him at Becher’s Brook. Jockey Danny Cook shot up in the air, managed to fall back on the horse’s back, with the saddle missing, having slipped sideways. After jumping the next he pulled up.

“There’s no such thing as a free pass in the National,” said Ellison.

“You need luck,” added Ellison, with the going of good to soft hope for.

Ahead of Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National, Ellison said: “I couldn’t be happier and I’m confident I can get ‘Red’ to Aintree in the best possible shape.”

Captions: A hug for Definitly Red from trainer Brian Ellison. Photo: Brian Ellison Racing.

Definitly Red: Brian Ellison couldn’t be happier ahead of Grand National.