Connections of Discorama are waiting with bated breath for next Tuesday, when the weights for the Aintree Grand National will be published.
Discorama finished seventh to Minella Times in the Aintree showpiece last season on his first run for five months following a wind operation.
The Andrew Gemmell and Thomas Friel-owned gelding came through his Aintree prep with flying colours on Wednesday, beaten a length by Full Time Score at Fairyhouse.
That was his first run since October and trainer Paul Nolan is keeping his fingers crossed that the lightly-raced Discorama, who has now finished runner-up on five of his 12 starts over fences, has booked his ticket for Aintree.
Nolan said: “It is a bit frustrating as he has only won two races in his life and he is nine years of age. He has run so many good races but he always seems to find a way of getting beaten. Yesterday it was only a length and he was very unlucky. He was unlucky at Galway last year, too.
“But he still ran very well and it was encouraging to see. He has come out of it well. The wind op seems to be working, as it was a last-car-on-the-road job.”
Discorama was a well-supported third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, and the doughty stayer has the option of going to the Festival next month.
However, his target is the extended four-and-a-quarter-mile Aintree showpiece.
Nolan added: “We will see what happens – the weights are out for the Grand National on Tuesday and we will see what sort of a chance he has of getting into that. He didn’t do himself any harm yesterday, but it is hard to know what the handicapper will do, especially when a horse gets to a certain age.
“Blaklion (a then-12-year-old) was a place in front of him at Aintree. They dropped him 10lb this season and he has won two chases since. It all depends on how the handicapper assesses it.
“There will be other horses coming up through the handicap that would maybe be higher-rated than him. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday, but the plan will be to go to Aintree if he gets in. We will then make our mind up about Cheltenham.”