Blaklion returns for his Aintree Cup Final
BLAKLION can roar again in the Becher Chase at Aintree (1.30).
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ chaser was made for this race, as he showed when cantering to victory by an impressive nine lengths last season.
He comes back today just 5lb higher in the weights and on soft ground that brings out the best in him.
These big fences are ideal for the nine-year-old who was an excellent fourth in 2017 Grand National and was knocked over jumping the first when fancied for the race earlier this year.
You always need a little luck on this course but the smaller field than the big race helps on that score.
He is down the weights thanks to being pulled up in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown which was very much an afterthought at the end of a long season.
Given that he doesn’t really stay the Grand National trip but loves these fences, this is his Cup Final for the season and TwistonDavies will have him fit and ready.
Gordon Elliott has a couple of interesting runners who are both coming back from long breaks with the Grand National in mind.
Don Poli is a proven Grade 1 performer who is dropping into handicap company for the first time over fences and is worth watching with April in mind. Stablemate Noble Endeavour was a good sixth in the Irish Grand National last year and has been off since. He’s another to follow despite his 600 days away.
Walk In The Mill has solid claims if taking to these fences. He was a fair third despite losing a shoe at Cheltenham and that will have blown away the cobwebs.
Ultragold won the Topham Chase for the second time over these fences in April and a 7lb rise shouldn’t hold him back. This trip is at the top end of his stamina but his love of the track is a major plus.
Ballyoptic was beaten on the nod in the Scottish Grand National on the back of a good fourth in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s an excellent jumper who stays all day.
Reigning champ: Blaklion