NICKY HENDERSON is praying his heartbreaking 44-year wait for a Grand National winner will end thanks to a horse 'absolutely made for' Aintree.
The Seven Barrows supremo looks to have an impressively strong hand heading into next month's Cheltenham Festival.
Massive Champion Hurdle fav Constitution Hill spearheads a squad including Mares' Novice Hurdle fav Luccia, Arkle fancy Jonbon and rejuvenated Ryanair leading chance Shishkin.
Mister Coffey will contest the National Hunt Chase that week – but far greater riches could come in April.
The eight-year-old gelding is owned by Lady Bamford – the wife of JCB billionaire Lord Bamford.
Mister Coffey was bought for £340,000 in May 2019.
The £500,000 first-place prize in the Grand National would more than pay off that fee – and end Hendo's hoodoo in the world's most famous race.
Henderson, 72, said: "He needs a few still to come out but the plan is to go to the Grand National.
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"He will go to the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham first, where he will be ridden by Derek O’Connor, then on to Aintree.
"He could have won a Kim Muir by now and he probably should have won at Uttoxeter the other day but unfortunately he didn’t get much luck in running.
"He will get his head in front one day over fences and if it is at Aintree then so much the better.
"He has run in some fairly exalted company and he has never been dropped back to win a maiden at Plumpton or somewhere like that.
"He ran in the Topham last season which possibly came a bit quick after his run at Cheltenham, but he seemed to enjoy going over the fences and this has always been the plan to come back for a go at the Grand National.
"It was at some stage last season I thought for the first time that he could be a Grand National horse as he is a strong stayer that likes going left-handed, so he should be absolutely made for it.
"We normally pop them over a National-style fence beforehand, not that it has done me any good in the race in the past!
"Though we have won the Topham a number of times.
"We will keep on trying to win the National. We never go out to buy a Grand National horse.
"We have been placed in the race a number of times and won the Topham a good few times.
"It is not impossible that I won’t win it at some point but it is becoming more likely that it won’t happen."
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