Newmarket trainer Richard Spencer takes on Outlander following late purchase on eve of 2019 Randox Grand National
Newmarket trainer Richard Spencer will have his first Randox Health Grand National runner on Saturday following the purchase of Outlander (an 80/1 shot) for £165,000 at yesterday evening's Goffs UK Aintree sale after racing.
Eleven-year-old Outlander, winner of three Grade 1 races during his career with former trainer Gordon Elliott, was bought by the Gowing's Eleven syndicate, which operates under the banner of Rebel Racing Ltd.
Spencer, who first took out a training licence in 2016 and is best known for capturing the 2017 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot with Rajasinghe, has trained eight winners over Jumps.
"The new owners are big supporters of Jump racing and enjoy it as much as the Flat, so when the catalogue for the sale came out we had a look and decided that we would have a go if we could," said Spencer, 30.
"Our hopes for the Randox Health Grand National are simply to have a good day out and some fun and for the horse to come back safe and sound. If he does do well, it will all be down to Gordon [Elliott's] magic and nothing to do with me."
Asked about future plans for the new addition to his yard, Spencer replied: "We'll take him home and get to know him, and there are a few options we will explore."
Outlander will be ridden in the Randox Health Grand National by James Bowen, who takes over from Keith Donoghue.
Spencer started his career in racing as a teenager by working for Bowen's trainer father Peter in west Wales.
Donoghue has thus missed out for the second year running on riding the Randox Health Grand National winner. He would have ridden the 2018 winner Tiger Roll if he had been able to do the weight - instead finishing eighth on the Henry de Bromhead-trained Valseur Lido. Now he is left without a ride in tomorrow's £1-million event.
* For the BBC's Grand National pinstickers' guide, click here.