Wayne Hutchinson: Take a walk at Aintree
Our man Wayne Hutchinson previews his rides ahead of a busy weekend at Aintree and Warwick.
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I head to Aintree for Becher Chase day on Saturday and I will start with Mystery Drama who I ride in the Listed hurdle for juvenile fillies.
She was progressive in her last couple of runs on the Flat and then won on hurdles debut at Leicester where she beat John Quinn's Poetic Verse, who reopposes once again.
Willie Mullins brings over Gitane Du Berlais from Ireland so it looks a good race. Mystery Drama will have to step up again but she is going the right way and hopefully she can do that.
Dundee runs in the novice handicap hurdle and made his reappearance at the track back in October and will hopefully strip fitter for that outing.
It is his first run in handicap company and has been a bit of a slow learner, but being owned by Trevor Hemmings he is likely to be a nice chaser in time and his mark of 110 will hopefully mean he can be competitive.
On to the two big races over the National fences and I ride Walkon in the Becher Chase who was fantastic when he finished second in the Topham Chase back in April.
We are going back there to see where we stand with him and decide whether the Grand National will be the target for the season. He was unfortunate to unseat Choc (Thornton) at the track last time but I schooled him in the week and he went very well.
Triolo D'Alene beat him in the Topham and he has subsequently won the Hennessy so if Walkon can show that sort of form again then I think he is in with a big shout.
Midnight Appeal goes in the Grand Sefton and he won nicely for me last time out in blinkers. The drop back in distance will be not be a problem and is a good jumper so this will be a fact-finding mission over these fences.
I head to Warwick on Sunday for one ride, where I will be on board Nearly Normal for Dave Dennis. He is a big, raw, rangy type and still only a four-year-old, so is not really a bumper type and that is why he heads over obstacles.
Looking back to last weekend and we could not have been more pleased with Grumeti in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle as he ran a lovely race.
He travelled well and jumped slickly but just got tired heading to the last flight so all he needs now is some match practice.
He felt great to me and the plan is the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, a track where he won as a juvenile.
Sego Success did it well when winning at Southwell in midweek. He jumped nicely having been unlucky on his only othe rrun when he was brought down having held every chance.
Hint Of Mint ran a very good race at 50/1 for Nick Williams to finish third at Wincanton on Thursday.
He was in the process of running a good race on his previous start at Taunton but Noel Fehily said he stumbled and that cost him any chance.
He had a steady rating on the Flat and jumped well on this occasion so should have no problem winning a maiden or novice event and looks one to follow.