Walford wary of National cut-off for Walk In The Mill

Walk in The Mill (nearside) beats Bally Longford and Brandon Hill at Ascot

Robert Walford is beginning to doubt Walk In The Mill’s chances of making the cut for the Randox Health Grand National.

Walk in The Mill moved up to number 48 in the list after this week’s latest acceptance stage, so is not yet guaranteed a run in the world’s greatest steeplechase at Aintree on April 6.

The touch-and-go situation is an uncomfortable reminder for Walford of his disappointment, in different circumstances, 12 months ago – when Walk In The Mill had a place in the race only to be ruled out by lameness on the day.

The nine-year-old has since demonstrated his aptitude for the course by winning the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences in December.

Walford said: “He’s well, but he’s no good thing to get in.

“It’s just one of those things. We need eight out – (but) we’re training him for the race, and he’s in good form.”

The Dorset trainer has a contingency plan in mind.

“If he doesn’t get in we might run in the Scottish National, I suppose,” he said.

“We’ll enter him in that and see.

“My feeling was when we entered with his rating of 144 we’re bound to get a run, but I’m not confident at the moment.”