Eleven will go to post for Haydock’s Grand National Trial on Saturday, with the weights headed by the 2018 Welsh Grand National winner Elegant Escape who has had a wind operation since finishing sixth in his bid to follow up in the Chepstow feature over the Christmas period.

The market is headed by Lord Du Mesnil at 4/1 who has won his last three, including over C&D last time. The handicapper has had his say, however, and Richard Hobson’s seven-year-old is 27lbs higher than when scoring at Newcastle at the end of November, but who is to say that he has yet reached his ceiling?

Fakenham (15.20)

Senior Citizen to win

Over at Fakenham and last year’s Foxhunters’ runner up Shantou Flyer has his prep race for the Festival as he bids to go one better but will certainly not be a betting proposition. We hope to see Senior Citizen (15.20) build on the form of his second at Doncaster on his chase debut when he ran a terrific race at the weights.

Alan King’s seven-year-old jumped out to his left at Town Moor and this track should suit. The likely market leader is Rizzardo who carries a 7lbs penalty for scoring at Huntingdon last week but is 2lbs “well-in” on official figures.


Fakenham (15.50)

Penny Mallow to win

Dundrum Wood steps up to three miles for the first time on his handicap debut and we think connections will be disappointed if he is not up to defying an opening mark of 120. He is very much a chaser-in-waiting, however, and will be one to follow over the larger obstacles next term.

The vote goes to the Venetia Williams’ trained mare Penny Mallow (15.50) who has been raised 7lbs for her latest second at Carlisle last time but can race from her old mark this afternoon.


*NAP* Lingfield (15.40)

Makram to win

At Lingfield, we’re looking forward to seeing if Makram (15.40) can go one better than when second at Kempton on debut when he fluffed the start before powering home down the outside.

He will get further than 7f in time, but he receives 7lbs from previous winner Amazing News and he can swoop fast and late to get off the mark at the second attempt.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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