Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds carried his famous colours to glory in the Randox Health Grand National and now owner Trevor Hemmings has snapped up another live National contender in the shape of the Paul Nicholls-trained Vicente after purchasing the gelding.

Following the death of Many Clouds after he won the BetBright Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, lowering the colours of Thistlecrack in the process, Hemmings has been without a horse for the iconic contest at Aintree.

However, Hemmings has now purchased Vicente who won last year’s Scottish National for Ditcheat handler Nicholls and would look to hold a decent chance of running well in the National given his stamina-laden qualities. He is around a 33/1 chance for the event.

Vicente has disappointed since the Scottish National success at Ayr, having fallen in the Hennessy before finishing sixth in the Welsh National at Chepstow and the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster respectively.

The eight-year-old son of Dom Alco was last seen finishing eighth in the Betfred Grand National Trial, beaten 48 lengths.

However, the Grand National has been the gelding’s long term aim and Hemmings has now snapped up the French-bred gelding who was previously owned by John Hales and Ian Fogg.

Speaking in his Betfair blog, Nicholls said:

He (Hemmings) has been an owner of mine for a while and having sadly lost his National winner Many Clouds in January he was looking for a suitable horse for the race. Vicente was for sale, a deal was done and he will now go straight to the National.

I’ve trained a number of winners for Trevor, who is an enthusiastic owner, loves the race and enjoys having a runner in it every year. He liked the profile of Vicente, who won the Scottish Grand National last season, and is at his best in the spring.

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