sport

Aintree beckons for Modus

Modus is likely to turn out at Aintree on Saturday week following his creditable performance at the Cheltenham Festival a fortnight ago.

The Robert Stephens-trained four-year-old was among the leading contenders for the Champion Bumper following impressive victories at Exeter and at Cheltenham.

Although he came up short, beaten a little over 10 lengths into eighth, he was the first four-year-old home.

His rookie handler believes Modus may have finished closer, had things panned out better on the day, and could aim for swift compensation in the Grade Two Weatherbys Private Banking Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Stephens said: "We were very pleased with how he ran at Cheltenham.

"The race probably didn't work out for him as he raced quite wide, but he was right there turning for him and he performed very respectably.

"He seemed to handle the whole occasion very well and he came out of the race well, so I think we'll seriously consider the bumper race at Aintree.

"He's a horse with plenty of pace and I think a track like Aintree will suit him well.

"We feel he's a very good horse and he ran better than the bare result at Cheltenham.

"The owner (John Deer) is quite keen to perhaps run him on the Flat, so we'll see where we are with him after Aintree.

"We haven't made any definite decision either way at this stage."