Ultragold is picked to enhance his strong Aintree record in Saturday's Becher Chase - don't miss the latest from our gallops insider.
Ultragold (1.10 Aintree)
Ultragold can improve on an impressive record over the Grand National fences still further with victory in the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday. It often pays to stick with those well versed in the art of tackling the most daunting obstacles in the country, and few can match Ultragold’s record of two wins and a second so far. Colin Tizzard has clearly set his stall out to capture this prize for the first time after the gelding’s second win in the Topham at the National meeting in April, and he does not look harshly handicapped in view of that grand effort. A warm-up outing in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham just over a month ago has sharpened him up, and he is just given the edge over the 2017 winner of this prize, Blaklion.
Giving Glances (2.40 Aintree)
Giving Glances has had the Listed Racing UK Fillies' Juvenile Hurdle in mind since the Alan King-trained daughter of Passing Glance made an impressive winning debut at Hereford, and she should be able to cope with the step up in class.
Crievehill (3.15 Aintree)
Crievehill is just preferred to the equally unexposed Forest des Aigles in the Betway Grand Sefton Handicap Chase. Nigel Twiston-Davies is never shy about tackling the National fences, and Crievehill boasts some very good form in his short career over fences, including a runaway win over the tricky Sandown obstacles. His comeback second to the very useful Javert at Uttoxeter promises much for the weeks and months ahead, and he should handle the soft ground with no problem.
I Can't Explain (12.15 Sandown)
I Can't Explain can make a winning first appearance for the Henderson team in the Core Spreads National Hunt Novices' Hurdles at Sandown. The Seven Barrows team have flattered in home gallops to deceive, and vice versa, during the tricky autumn exchanges, but this impressive winning Irish pointer appears to possess plenty of quality. Although not ready to run in bumpers in the spring, he showed a up very well in his homework, and has rewarded his trainer’s decision not to run him too soon by strengthening into his big frame during the summer. A horse for chases in the future, connections are more than hopeful he can pay his way over hurdles this season.
Mon Palois (1.40 Wetherby)
Mon Palois shaped nicely over fences at Market Rasen on his latest start and he can show his appreciation for a return to a left-handed course in the Jigsaw Branding Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Wetherby. Kim Bailey’s gelding won a bumper in soft ground here a couple of years ago and looks worth taking a chance with on this similar surface.
Time To Move On (12.05 Wetherby)
Time To Move On can maintain his unbeaten record in the racinguk.com Novices' Hurdle. Both his victories so far have come in bumpers at Exeter and his partner today, Noel Fehily, had a great view of his ability when he chased him home on the very classy Caribert a year ago. This looks a relatively low key first venture over timber for Feargal O’Brien’s five-year-old and he should want plenty of beating,
Another Venture (2.30 Chepstow)
Ground conditions are likely to be very testing at Chepstow, but Mon Palois’s stablemate Another Venture handles the ground well and showed his ability to handle the course when landing a novices' handicap there in January. Bailey believes there is plenty of scope for improvement from the seven-year-old, and he looks worth an each-way interest in the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase.
Diablo de Rouhet (3.05 Chepstow)
This column has a real soft spot for Jo Hughes' Diablo de Rouhet and he can follow up his 33/1 course win at that same January meeting in the Llewellyn Humphreys Handicap Hurdle. His overall form makes pretty good reading, and both the second and third won next time. At five, he is expected to progress this season, and, he looks following whatever his fate in a race where stamina could be tested to the full.
Peggy's Angel (7.15 Wolverhampton)
Peggy’s Angel returns to the scene of one of her best performances last season in the Betway Sprint Handicap at Wolverhampton and she should also go close for the Hughes' team. She went down by only a length and a half to the useful Belated Breath that day, and followed up with a respectable effort in the Newbury 1000 Guineas Trial. A repeat of either of those performances should see her take a hand in the finish, and the fitting of a hood for the first time should see her settle better after a luckless effort at a Lingfield two weeks ago.