Weekend Racing Preview: Aintree Action Worth Giving Glances At7 min read
A Fab four go to post for the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown today’s Grade 1 highlight and I do feel the race will be set up for Altior (3.00) given both Saint Calvados and Un De Sceaux – winner of this corresponding race in 2016 – like to set a searching gallop. The selection – 8/11 with BetVictor – suggested on occasions last season that he needs a true test of stamina at the minimum trip these days and the stiff uphill finish this afternoon should be ideal.
Lalor (1.50) was a 7l winner at Cheltenham on his chase debut and cannot be opposed in the Henry VIII Chase for novice chasers again over the minimum trip of 2miles. A Grade 1 winning hurdler on soft ground at Aintree the selection jumped economically and athletically on his chase debut and at 4/5 with BetVictor he can land the odds for Kayley Woollacott.
There are two races over the National fences at Aintree including the Becher Chase which sees former RSA Chase winner Don Poli return to the track after a 664-day lay-off. Gordon Elliot reports his charge in excellent form ahead of his reappearance, but this could easily be a “sighter” to see if the long-term objective should be a crack at the Big One in April.
My two against the field are Vieux Lion Rouge – one of three former winners of the race in the line up – and Missed Approach (1.30) who marginal preference for the latter who is 12/1 with BetVictor and is the each way recommendation (1/5th odds 5 places).
The selection won a competitive Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in March from an 8lbs lower mark although Sam Waley-Cohen – who has such a good record around the National fences – takes off 3lbs.
Eldorado Allen (11.55) carries a 6lbs penalty for his Sandown debut success but I don’t think that will stop Colin Tizzard’s four-year-old who looked potentially smart at the Esher track.
Katachenko (12.25) was beaten a nose in the corresponding race 12 months ago when he would surely have won but for jinking and losing valuable ground at the start. He can run from a mark 6lbs lower this afternoon and he is blinkered for the first time for Donald McCain.
Dubai Angel (1.00) represents the yard of Ruth Jefferson who, at the time of writing, has saddled two winners from her last three runners. The selection made a satisfactory reappearance at Carlisle at a time when the yard’s runners were needing their first outing of the season.
Giving Glances (2.40) created a very favourable impression – albeit in a modest race – at Hereford on her first start over timber and she is taken to take the step up in grade in her stride in the listed fillies’ juvenile hurdle. She is 6/4 with BetVictor and I think she could be a smart juvenile.
I said earlier in the week that I had backed both Brandon Hill (3.15) and Forest Des Aigles each way for the Sefton Chase and preference for the former is marginal. Tom George’s 10-year-old (12/1) with BetVictor ran a promising race on ground quicker than ideal here on the Mildmay course back in October and this 2m 6f trip should be ideal. If he takes to these unique fences he must have a leading chance although he won’t get a soft lead. Wetherby winner Catamaran De Seuil (6/1 with BetVictor) is another to consider in a cracking finale.
Missed Approach E/W
Bako De La Saulaie (1.40) can land the 3m Novices Handicap Chase for Rose Dobbin who can race from the same mark as second at Carlisle last time. The selection has yet to win over the larger obstacles but has the scope to make his mark over fences and should go well with underfoot conditions ideal.
I hope is it a good day for the Dobbin yard as Some Reign (2.50) reverts to the minimum trip having run over 2m 5f when a well-beaten second at Kelso last time. The 7-year-old won a Bumper and finished runner up in a Novice Hurdle in his two previous starts at the Yorkshire track and I feel he is well handicapped at present.
Bako De La Saulaie
The vote in the Borders National goes to West Of The Edge (1.05) who is blinkered for the first time for Dr Richard Newland. The selection was a leading fancy for the race 12 months ago when the meeting was abandoned, and it should be noted that the yard won this valuable race back in 2013.
At Huntingdon Brewin’Upastorm (1.20) makes his eagerly awaited hurdles debut for Olly Murphy. The selection was given a poor ride/poor riding instructions when fourth at Ascot last time but created a very favourable impression when scoring at Hereford on debut – beating the subsequent Aintree Bumper winner Portrush Ted by no less than nine lengths.
West Of The Edge