DONALD McCain has been pulling his hair out all winter due to the terrible weather, but it looks as though Overturn will finally get his ground in tomorrow’s Maghull Novices’ Chase (2.15pm). The weather ruined his chances at Cheltenham and he is likely to be better suited to this track anyway. However, I’m just not sure he’s got that much scope as a chaser and I’m willing to take him on.
Baily Green finished ahead of Overturn in the Racing Post Arkle, but that ended up being a funny race and he may have been a little flattered to get so close to Simonsig. He should go well but I prefer the claims of another Irish raider, Thomas Mullins’ ALDERWOOD, who landed a huge gamble in the Grand Annual Chase at the Festival.
AP McCoy takes the mount again and the pair couldn’t have won more impressively at Cheltenham. My selection proved he can put together quick winning streaks last season when taking the County Hurdle and following up at both Fairyhouse and Punchestown. He is also a much better horse on good ground, so conditions tomorrow should be perfect.
With Big Buck’s still missing, the Liverpool Hurdle (2.50pm) is up for grabs for the first time since Blazing Bailey won it back in 2008. Last month’s World Hurdle at Cheltenham proved that there is no star-in-waiting at the moment, but it was hard not to be impressed by SOLWHIT, and he should be able to follow up tomorrow.
Charles Byrnes’ nine-year-old has bounced back to his best this season and he will relish the decent ground. He won the Aintree Hurdle four years ago on his only visit to this track and should confirm the placings with both Celestial Halo and Smad Place. Grands Crus would be a danger if he returns to form, but that is a big ‘if’, and there is nothing else in the line-up that will worry the connections of Solwhit.
I’ll be on the motorway by the time the Bumper is run at 5.45pm and if you’re looking for a get out of jail card this is always a very tough race to call. There is a strong word for Nicky Henderson’s Tistory, but he may end up going off quite short, and it might be better to throw a few quid each-way at Peter Bowen’s REGAL DIAMOND. He is reportedly one of his trainer’s best young prospects, has been working really well and should be a massive price.
- ALDERWOOD 2.15pm Aintree (tomorrow)
- SOLWHIT 2.50pm Aintree (tomorrow)
- REGAL DIAMOND e/w 5.45pm Aintree (tomorrow)
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