IT will be 82 years since a 13-year-old horse achieved it, but Cheshire racing hero Amberleigh House will be trained for another Grand National victory next year.

He's as low as 25-1 to become the first horse since his own trainer Ginger Mc-Cain's Red Rum to win back-to-back Nationals.

But the old boy has already left bookies across Cheshire squealing as folk gambled their money on the local horse last weekend.

There were tales of queues outside plenty of bookmakers' shops as winnings were collected.

The route for the Cholmondeleytrained horse that has become synonymous with the big Aintree fences is to be a familiar one in the 2004/5 National Hunt season.

Another visit to Liverpool in November for the Becher Chase - which he's already won once already - followed by a run here and there before the National itself.

In recent years, Amberleigh House has become almost as familiar a face at Bangor as he is at Aintree.

He's run plenty of times at his local racecourse, especially in preparation for his three goes at the Grand National so far, and he did his final piece of race-course preparation work there seven days before the big event last weekend.

Who would bet against Amberleigh House winning another National at 13?

Until this season, the major prizes in jump racing had more often than not gone to younger horses as trainers increasingly gave youth its head.

But with Henrietta Knight's Edredon Bleu winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and Amberleigh House triumphing in the Grand National, 2003/4 has been the season of the older horse. The next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse is on Saturday, April 17. The first race is due off at 2.10pm. A free bus service runs from Wrexham Railway Station at 12.40pm, returning after racing - train passengers with tickets get priority.

Admission to the Course Enclosure is £6 while the Paddock Enclosure is £13. Accompanied children enter free.

More information is available on the website or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323.

The next racing at Chester Races is the May Festival between Wednesday, May 5 and Friday, May 7. Racecourse ticket prices in 2004 range from £5/6 for the Open Course on all days to £35 for the County Stand concourse and up to £47 for the Long Room during the May Festival.

As well as, badges can be bought on the race-course's credit card hotline on 01244 304610, which is open between 9am and 4.45pm, Mondays to Fridays.

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