Tatenen gets green light for Merseyside mission

Tatenen, far right - red, black and white silks, heads for third spot in the Byrne Group Plate yesterday
Tatenen, far right - red, black and white silks, heads for third spot in the Byrne Group Plate yesterday
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Tatenen will head for Aintree after a superb performance in the Byrne Group Plate yesterday.

The 10-year-old son of Lost World was third behind the triumphant Ballynagour and Colour Squadron in the Grade 3 chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Now West Sussex handler Richard Rowe – along with the gelding’s owner Andy Stewart – is hoping it will be third time lucky at the Liverpool course for his 140-rated stable star.

Tatenen fell in last season’s Grand National and unseated jockey Andrew Thornton in the same race in 2012.

Rowe & Co are determined to right those wrongs.

However, the former jumps jockey, who now trains from his yard in Storrington, faces a nervous wait to see if his charge will make the cut for the National next month.

If Tatenen is denied, the Topham Chase is an ideal plan B.

‘He ran right up to his best yesterday and I’m very proud of him because he’s quite fragile,’ said Rowe.

‘When things are right you couldn’t get a horse who tries harder and his jumping is super.

‘He needs a few to come out of the National to ensure a run.

‘But Andy has just said he is keen to let him take his chance.

‘I’ll put him in the Topham in case he doesn’t look like running in the National.

‘The fences don’t worry me, the trip might but he’s been unlucky there in the past and it might be third time lucky.’

Tatenen is currently ranked 61 in the handicap for the National, which takes place on Saturday, April 5.

Forty horses will go to post for the epic four-mile, four-furlong battle.

That means the French-bred talent’s hopes of making the cut are firmly in the balance.

However, he has done little wrong this term – with a victory at Newbury, second place at Sandown and third at Prestbury Park yesterday putting him in the mix for a Merseyside mission.

Rowe said: ‘I thought the handicapper was a little harsh on him after he won at Newbury in November.

‘He was put up 12lb, which probably cost him a subsequent win at Sandown.

‘That said, if he had won that day he would have gone up again and we wouldn’t be where we are now.’

Reigning champion Carrickboy, who was due to be ridden by Arundel rider Liam Treadwell, was a non-runner in the Byrne Group Plate yesterday.

Meanwhile, Third Intention – the 2012 National Spirit Hurdle champion at Fontwell – finished fifth at 7/1 for his trainer Colin Tizzard.