Aintree Saturday review: Ballyhill justifies strong market support

Ballyhill jumps to victory at Cheltenham
Ballyhill jumps to victory at Cheltenham

A round-up of the action so far from Aintree on Becher Chase day as Ballyhill returned to winning ways in good style.

Bally back in the groove

Ballyhill ran out a ready winner of the Betway Handicap Chase for Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.

The heavily-backed 7/2 favourite shaped well at Bangor last month and build on that performance under a confident ride, scoring by three and a quarter lengths after a couple of spring-heeled leaps up the home straight.

Caltex (5/1) briefly looked to be laying down some sort of challenge coming to the last but he was unable to bridge the gap despite himself pulling a long way clear of the third, A Place Apart (10/1).

Bridge wins eventful opener

West To The Bridge won an eventful race for the opening Betway Heed Your Hunch Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

The race changed complexion almost as soon as it had begun with odds-on favourite Eldorado Allen taken out by a wayward jump from The Grand Visir, who also departed at the very first flight.

The initiative was then handed to second-favourite Champagne Mystery, who was left some 25 lengths clear at the head affairs.

However, he was carried out by a loose horse soon after passing the finish line on the first circuit, leaving just three to contest the rest of the two-mile race.

Rank outsider Bonbonniere was still in there pitching for a long way but it ultimately came down to a battle between Dan Skelton's West To The Bridge and Cause Toujours, with the latter prevailing by three and a half lengths following a brief dual after the last hurdle.

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