Shakalakaboomboom gearing up for National tilt

Two-time Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson is still looking for his first win in the Grand National in 2012 and may fancy his chances of breaking that maiden this year with Shakalakaboomboom.

The eight-year-old has recently won his last two races over fences with victories at Punchestown and Cheltenham.

Henderson has always rated the Irish bred horse in high regard and even more so when he got his novice chase career off to a flying start by winning the Pertemps Network Chase at Kempton. He then followed that run up with a win in a Class Three handicap at Taunton. People placing a Grand National free bet should remember this.

However, until the success at the Punchestown Festival where he got the better of Beautiful Sound by a short head in a Grade B handicap chase, Shakalakaboomboom had failed to finish in the placings in three starts.

His recent win at Cheltenham saw him get the better of Mon Parrain, Fair Along and Mostly Bob in a high class field to build on his success in Ireland.

The Grand National is one of only a few races on the National Hunt calendar that Henderson has failed to win in his long and illustrious career.

Last season the 61-year-old won the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Long Run in a season where he finished second in the Trainers Championship behind Paul Nicholls.

The Lambourn-based trainer has been notably renowned for his dominance in the Champion Hurdle at the festival. He has won the race on five different occasions, across three different decades.

See You Then gave him back-to-back wins in the 1984, 1985 and 1986, whilst more recently, Punjabi and Binocular have given him further success in the feature race on day one of the festival in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

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