I Am Maximus has taken Fairyhouse exertions in his stride

National joint-favourite ‘has his own way of getting round’.

Connections are hoping I Am Maximus’ own brand of jumping is not his Achilles heel when he goes for Randox Grand National glory at Aintree.

The reigning Irish Grand National champion put himself in the picture to follow in the footsteps of Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, Bobbyjo and Numbersixvalverde by also adding the Liverpool version with a dominant display in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.

That 14-length victory over last year’s Aintree runner-up Vanillier saw Willie Mullins’ eight-year-old made the general 10-1 joint-favourite for the world’s most famous steeplechase where he will attempt to give his handler a second victory in the race 19 years on from the success of Hedgehunter.

I Am Maximus in action in the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse
I Am Maximus in action in the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse (Damien Eagers/PA)

With his stamina assured, it appears the major question I Am Maximus will have to answer when tackling the famous spruce on Merseyside surrounds his jumping.

“He did well (in the Bobbyjo) and he’s got his own technique of jumping,” said owner JP McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.

“He seems to like Fairyhouse and he did it nicely. I believe he has come out of the race fine.

“He has his own way of getting round so it will be interesting to see how that goes at Aintree, but he’s in good form and the plan will be to go there with him.

“I don’t think stamina will be any problem to him and jumping could be his biggest problem. He will need a bit of luck but they all do round there.”

McManus has won the Grand National with both Don’t Push It (2010) and Minella Times (2021) and I Am Maximus is one of five potential National runners in the famous green and gold silks alongside Closutton stablemates Capodanno and Janidil, Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies and Gavin Cromwell’s Limerick Lace.

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