Victor Dartnall's steeplechaser Giles Cross relaxes at Woolacombe Bay ahead of big race
Westcountry steeplechaser Giles Cross takes a well-earned break at his favourite beach.
The 11-year-old cooled down with a paddle in the light surf of Woolacombe Bay ahead of defending his crown in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock tomorrow.
Barnstaple trainer Victor Dartnall saw his string banned from exercising on the beach last month, but friendly locals have provided a way to access a small section of land.
Mr Dartnall said the gelding, who was taken for a spin with groom Zara Dickson in the saddle, loves galloping across the sands.
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"We took him down over the sand dunes and across the beach and he had a kick and a buck and a play – he finds it really exciting," he added.
"I feel very happy going in to Saturday's race – he's had an uninterrupted preparation since the Welsh National, the horses are coming to form, and the going will be heavy, which is an added bonus."
Bookmakers were yesterday offering odds of 10/1 on the horse ahead of the race.