Unioniste was an early faller in the 2015 Grand National, but the Paul Nicholls-trained grey is set to have another crack at the Aintree marathon on April 9, and will be hoping that he can produce a clear round of jumping for the Ditcheat handler.
- 13th March 2016 - Kelso - Premier Chase - 2m, 7f - 2nd
- 18th February - Kelso - Ivan Straker Memorial Chase - 3m, 2f - 1st
- 6th February 2016 - Sandown - Masters Handicap Chase - 3m - 3rd
- 19th December 2015 - Ascot - Silver Cup Handicap Chase - 2m, 7f - 12th
- 5th December 2015 - Aintree - Becher Chase - 3m, 15 - 9th
Unioniste was a leading fancy for last year's Grand National, but he was an early casualty having fallen in the early stages of the race, so he will be hoping for more luck on his return to Aintree, but off a significantly lower mark this time around the Paul Nicholls-trained grey could appeal to some punters.
He kicked off the season with a run over the National fences, but he could only finish ninth in the Becher Chase, while a less than inspiring performance saw him finish way out the back in a competitive handicap chase, but a third place finish in February at Sandown Park gave more encouragement.
A win in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso was his season high, and he was immediately slashed in the betting for the Grand National, but he was unable to live with reigning Aintree hero Many Clouds last month on a return to Kelso, so he will need more here if he is to turn the form around with Oliver Sherwood's race favourite.
|F8-80312||Unioniste||8||149||10-8||P Nicholls||N Scholfield||1||Fell in 2015||33/1|
VERDICT: Unioniste is a classy performer on his day, but he was a faller last season, and while he has dropped significantly in the handicap it's hard to see him reversing his recent Kelso form with Many Clouds, so even if he does jump round he may have to settle for the minor places.