Williams hoping for Cappa run
Evan Williams is hoping conditions improve by Saturday to get a run into his John Smith's Grand National hope Cappa Bleu.
The Llancarfan trainer took last season's Aintree fourth out of a planned outing at Exeter because of the heavy ground.
Williams reports Cappa Bleu to be ready to return to the track for the first time since he was second on his seasonal debut at Carlisle in November.
Cappa Bleu could reappear at Ascot in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Chase, a limited handicap over three miles in which he was third 12 months ago.
He also holds an entry in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday but Williams is less keen on that option.
"He's in the National Trial which I wouldn't be keen to take on, but he will be declared at the five-day stage," said Williams.
"He will also be entered at Ascot on Saturday in a race he was third in last year, a three-mile handicap.
"That's where I would like to go, weather permitting.
"I'm desperate to run him. It's got to the stage now where I'm starting to need to run him. He could do with a run.
"It would be nice if we could slot him in there somewhere."
Testing ground saw Williams withdraw Court Minstrel from Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, but the trainer is not as worried about getting him back on to the track in a hurry.
"He's absolutely fine. We want a bit of decent ground," he said.
"There are plenty of options and I'm not too worried about him because there are so many places he can go in the spring when the ground gets better.
"I wouldn't run him on that ground so I worked instead on Saturday as I needed to work him because he didn't run.
"There are no problems with him but I will not run him on that ground. I don't think he handled it in the Tolworth (fourth to Melodic Rendezvous) and that form is looking increasingly very good, so I'm going to be patient with him."