CHELTENHAM Festival winner Chief Dan George is still in the hunt for Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.

The Cartmel based horse, trained by Jimmy Moffatt claimed the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham and is one of 65 horses vying to get into the race, with just 40 places available.

Trainer Moffatt said: “We had the first declaration on Monday and we needed about another eight horses to drop out to be in the main 40 for the race.

“We have just got to stick to our normal routine and nothing changes. We can’t do anything about the outcome but we will prepare as if he is racing on Saturday.”

Moffatt explained the original plan before Cheltenham was to aim for the Scottish Grand National at Ayr and the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

He added: “Chief Dan George did so well at Cheltenham he became a contender for the Grand National and we had to change our plans but that is now a realistic goal.”

Moffatt said it would be possible for horses to pull out of Saturday’s race, particularly if the ground gets softer, but said good to soft ground would suit Chief Dan George.

“We hope to get it dry, otherwise we might just go to Ayr or Sandown in a couple of weeks.”