WARRIOR CAN TELL A GOOD TALE AT AINTREE
Aintree 1.30 - Last year’s winner Blaklion will be a warm order to double up and his stablemate Ballyoptic is also well fancied. However, both have their fair share of weight to carry and I’d much rather take a chance on ULTRAGOLD (NB) staying the trip. Being a winner of the Topham chase for two years on the bounce, he clearly loves this course and the unique test it provides. He took the Topham this year on testing ground which would have taken some getting so I am hopeful he is able to stay that little bit better now he is older. If he does stay, his dead-eye fencing means he has a big chance.
Sandown 1.50 - Lalor is a hot favourite to take this on his second chase start and perhaps rightly so on the back of his Cheltenham win. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took this but I can’t back him at 4/6. I can back DYNAMITE DOLLARS, however, as he is proving to be a much better chaser than he was a hurdler. He jumps soundly for a novice and offers a viable each way alternative.
Aintree 2.05 - DEFINITLY RED is definitely up to this grade which makes him almost unbackable in a race where his rivals have questions to answer in graded company. Brian Ellison’s stable star is as tough as teak with a touch of class who is one big win away from being top, top class. His return in the Charlie Hall should have put him spot on and I expect him to jump and gallop these into the ground.
Sandown 2.25 - An open race where I’M A GAME CHANGER looks to have obvious claims. Philip Hobbs charge has been mixing between the larger and smaller obstacles of late, performing admirably in the process. You get the impression he is a slightly better hurdler than he is a chaser and that’s perhaps why Hobbs sends him to Sandown today as it is a nice pot to pick up. There are some classy sorts in the mix but they are also unknown sorts and sometimes you have to stick to the tried and tested horses.
Aintree 2.40 - This race is not as hot as it should be and it will take a good one to get past GIVING GLANCES. Alan King knows what day of the week it is when it comes to juvenile hurdlers and this could be one of his better ones. A classy Flat horse with a rating of 86 means she should be a decent recruit to the National Hunt sphere and she certainly looked good on debut at Hereford.
Sandown 3.00 - Despite only four lining up in this year’s Tingle Creek, it does not lack quality. All four have a realistic chance of winning but in my eyes ALTIOR is miles clear of the rest. He has proven time and again just how good he is and it is remarkable that he has come along so soon after Sprinter Sacre. This is his first run back but fitness is rarely an issue with a Henderson runner and I can’t see any other result bar another Altior victory.
Aintree 3.15 - I was half expecting WARRIORS TALE (NAP) to be declared for the Becher but Paul Nicholls has probably made the right decision sending him here as it looks much calmer. He proved in the Grand National last season that he jumps these fences with ease and now that he is back over his best distance I can see him gaining a deserved victory. These flat tracks suit him well and I’m sure Nicholls has laid him out for this task so at 7/1 he rates a cracking bet.
Sandown 3.35 - A tough race to predict usually and I usually get tempted by a unexposed stayer and this year is no different. Pam Sly’s ACTINPIECES is an admirable mare who stays all day. She ran well in some tough races last year, carrying big weights in the process. Her comeback at Huntingdon would have teed her up nicely for this.