PETER Scudamore, assistant and partner to Lucinda Russell, has said Corach Rambler is still in the running to go for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National with a firm decision to be made in the coming days.

That will likely be the case for a number of trainers, given 25 horses among the 73 forfeits in the race either ran at Aintree already this week or have been declared to run in the Grand National today.

The three-mile-five-furlong contest is being run after the Scottish and Aintree equivalents for only the second time in the last 10 renewals on Monday week, and the picture will likely become clearer for the race after this weekend.

Corach Rambler, who stayed on strongly to take the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month, is one of only a few towards the head of the market who wasn’t given an Aintree option this week.

Speaking to The Irish Field, Scudamore explained: “It’s likely either going to be Fairyhouse for the Irish Grand National or to Sandown for the Bet365 Gold Cup (April 23rd).

“We haven’t had a chance to have a good look at the race since the forfeits came out and I think the picture will be a lot clearer after this weekend and we can make a decision then.

“The horse is very well since Cheltenham and everyone is very positive about him. We’ll see how he is next week and do the best by him. It would be a major ambition to win the Irish Grand National but we’ll just have to see how things go.”

Novice entries

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Full Time Score and the Willie Mullins-trained Gaillard Du Mesnil, were among the most interesting runners left in at the forfeit stage and who don’t have engagements at Aintree. Like Corach Rambler, they are both novices, who have accounted for four of the last seven winners of the Irish National.

Max Flamingo is a likely runner for local trainer Francis Casey while Gigginstown House Stud’s main contender will be Farclas, who was taken out of today’s Aintree spectacular specifically to be aimed at Fairyhouse instead.

General manager Peter Roe said on Thursday: “I think the way the race falls this year, it’s just difficult to forecast who might run but we’re very hopeful of a quality race and you’ll probably need a rating north of 130 to get in.

“The ground is currently good to yielding, good in places but we have a very unsettled forecast coming in the next week. We have watered in the last few weeks and will water again if we need to, but we’re in a very good spot.

“There are a limited number of various hospitality tickets and we’d advise people to book them soon but we’re very hopeful of big crowds for all three days of the Easter Festival.”

BoyleSports have also stepped in to sponsor the Gold Cup Novice Chase on Sunday. Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs are among the entries. Roe also confirmed that Harry Fry was still planning to run his Cheltenham heroine Love Envoi in the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final, also on Sunday.