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Tranquil Sea team considering Cheltenham Festival trip

Tranquil Sea could well take in a trip to the Cheltenham Festival on route to having a tilt at Crabbie's Grand National glory after turning back the clock to claim victory over fellow veteran Time For Rupert at Doncaster.

The 12-year-old secured a number of notable prizes when trained by Edward O'Grady back in Ireland, including Grade 1 triumphs at Punchestown in 2008 and Fairyhouse in 2010, as well as the 2009 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

However, he had not entered the winner's enclosure since March 2012 until registering a 13th career success under rules when obliging by a comfortable two lengths on his first outing over 3m at Town Moor.

Warren Greatrex took a speculative punt on buying such an exposed old stager at the start of the season but his dream of National glory now looks far more like a real possibility following this result.

"It will still be touch and go whether he gets in at Aintree but he needed to finish in the first four here and has certainly helped his cause," beamed the trainer. "He was ridden just to make the first four really, but ended up getting there pretty easily.

"Some people thought I was mad buying him at this stage but to be honest it's just great having a horse as good as him around, even if he's maybe not as good as he was. The Topham is another Aintree option, but the Kim Muir at Cheltenham could also be tempting now as he didn't have a hard race out there."

The race also marked a welcome return to form for Time For Rupert, who last prevailed when beating The Giant Bolster at Newbury in 2011 before going on to finish fifth behind Synchronised in the following year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Previously a runner-up to Big Buck's in the 2010 Ladbrokes World Hurdle, he had been beaten a long way in two races this term but still has an entry in the Ryanair Chase at this season's Festival.


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Tranquil Sea team considering Cheltenham Festival trip

Tranquil Sea could well take in a trip to the Cheltenham Festival on route to having a tilt at Crabbie's Grand National glory after turning back the clock to claim victory over fellow veteran Time For Rupert at Doncaster.

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