Altior To Come Back With A Bang At Sandown
This really is a notable weekend in the National Hunt calendar with some of the best two mile chasers taking each other on at Sandown, while we also get a first glimpse of the Aintree Grand National fences this season at Aintree.
Sunday’s John Durkan Chase at Punchestown has attracted a small but select field, while the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on the same afternoon will see the return of Great Field.
Greatrex Has The Right Approach
Don Poli tops the weights for the Becher Chase at Aintree but after 664 days off the track it would look a bit too much of an ask for the Grade 1 winner to make the perfect return to action. Given that he is still only rising 10 he most certainly could be an interesting recruit to the National fences however.
Last year’s Becher Chase winner Blaklion is prominent in the betting again but it is 12/1 shot Missed Approach who stood out in the list of runners.
Cheltenham seems to be where Missed Approach is at his best but the Aintree Grand National fences should suit the eight-year-old and the ease in the ground at the Liverpool track won’t do him any harm either.
A winner of the Kim Muir last season, Missed Approach was second to Tiger Roll as a 50/1 shot in the four-miler last year so has a bit of class in these staying races.
This will be his first run at Aintree but with a lovely racing weight of 10st9lbs with Sam Waley Cohen taking 3lbs off Missed Approach just might have a lot going for him and…
is preferred to those more to the fore in the betting.
Altior To Come Back With A Bang
Nicky Henderson’s Altior makes his return to action in the Tingle Creek this afternoon and the Champion Chase hero can extend his winning ways over fences.
Despite there just being four runners declared to face the starter this looks a very good race and Saint Calvados and Sceau Royal have got the benefit of a run under their belt.
Altior and Un De Sceaux don’t but are both able to run well fresh but it is Altior who is expected to pick up the pieces in a race that will offer few hiding places.
The Tingle Creek is a great test of jumping and no horse will be able to miss a beat around Sandown today but it could turn into a case where Saint Calvados and Un De Sceaux set it up for Altior.
Ruby Walsh is too good to fall into a trap of going to quick in front with Saint Calvados but Un De Sceaux has got past form of going quicker than ideal and with it being his first run of the season he could race a bit freely when fresh.
Altior is reportedly working extremely well at present and while he wouldn’t want it too testing, which would suit Un De Sceaux…
Altior just looks to be a very special horse indeed and should justify favouritism.
Blackmore And O’Brien To Combine Again
There’s some good racing at Navan today and a few competitive handicaps on the card for punters to get stuck into. The first of those is a handicap hurdle over 2m6f and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Eviscerating is given the nod here.
The six-year-old is having his first run since joining Mouse Morris and just could be well handicapped off 107.
Eviscerating was a point-to-point winner on his third start when trained by Morris and he went on to run well in a bumper before going over hurdles last season.
His novice hurdle campaign didn’t go according to plan and a second placed effort behind Brahma Bull was the best he could manage, however, Morris’ horses may just not have been firing on all cylinders in the latter half of last season and that could just have left Eviscerating with a more favourable mark than he deserves.
If you go back to his point-to-point victory two years ago Eviscerating beat Fred The Foot who has got up to a rating of 120 and Broken Quest was 11-lengths back and he is now rated 122 so while this is a leap of faith on what he has shown so far, if Eviscerating can produce his best…
he looks well in off 107 and should be suited by the trip, the track and the ground this afternoon.
Missed Approach (12/1) – 1.30 Aintree
Altior (8/11) – 3.00 Sandown
Eviscerating – 1.05 Navan
*Prices correct at time of publication.