Haydock test for Viva Steve

Viva Steve could take the next step towards the Randox Health Grand National by running in the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock.

Viva Steve in his old colours: Could be Haydock bound

Although the eight-year-old also holds an entry in the Coral Welsh National, trainer Fergal O'Brien is considering taking in a trip to the Merseyside track on December 17, should conditions be in his favour.

The former Mick Channon-trained gelding, who is now owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, made a successful debut for O'Brien with a front-running success at Ayr on November 9.

O'Brien said: "I was absolutely delighted with Viva Steve at Ayr. We were very lucky to to bring him back from the sales.

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"If it was soft at Haydock we would go for the Tommy Whittle, if not will will hang on for the Welsh National.

"At Ayr, Paddy (Brennan) just let him bowl along in front.

"It looked like he would win by a long way, but it looked like he got a bit tired and Paddy just said he idled a little bit.

"We bought him as a Grand National horse and as long as he runs well in his next race that is what he will be entered for.

"He ran well against The Last Samuri at Kempton last year and those flat tracks are his sort of track."

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