Mac Tottie will aim for a unique double in the Unibet Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.
Only a handful of races are run over the Grand National fences each season, with three of those at the big meeting in April – meaning options were limited.
That was certainly the case when the Grand Sefton and Becher Chase were held on the same afternoon, as they had been up until this year, but running the Grand Sefton and Aintree’s November meeting means horses can now run in both.
Peter Bowen, who trained Always Waining to win three Topham Chases over the National fences, expects Mac Tottie to be even more suited by the extra distance in the Becher than when he won the Grand Sefton.
He said: “It probably will be harder task and he’s got 7lb more to carry so it will be harder, but I think the trip will suit and he’ll be even better going a bit further. Fingers crossed he should go well.
“We’ve not had many that don’t take to the fences, most of the ones we have run tend to take to them and it’s been a very lucky place for us. He took to them straight away, we didn’t think it would be an issue and it wasn’t.
“The top-weight (Chris’s Dream) staying in has helped, he’s on 10st 6lb so we’re happy, he schooled brilliant yesterday morning and worked well the day before.
“It all depends if he can cope with his handicap mark (142) and handle the step up in trip, I think he will.
“I’m looking forward to it, he’s so fit and well and everything has gone well for him since his last run.”
He added: “Always Waining is still at home, he seems great in himself and you wouldn’t think he was more than a four- or five-year-old.”