BARBURY Castle trainer Alan King is to aim Hold On Julio at the John Smith's Grand National after he narrowly missed out on hitting the frame in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last weekend.
A fifth-placed finish saw him dropped 2lb by the handicapper, with King now thinking of Warwick's Classic Chase in January for his next start.
"Obviously, it was disappointing that Hold On Julio could not get in the money in the Hennessy, but the top chasers go half a stride faster and he was taken out of his comfort zone early on," the Barbury Castle handler told alankingracing.co.uk.
"However, I was pleased to see Hold On Julio run on up the straight to finish fifth. He has been dropped 2lb by the handicapper, and the plan is now to try and win one of the lesser handicaps with a big weight.
"The Grand National is Julio's main target, and we will work backwards from Aintree.
"I have not yet planned the next port of call, but the Warwick Classic has been a lucky race for us, so we might have a look at that in January."
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