Defi Du Seuil can silence the doubters on his ability to be a top two-miler, according to Keith Hamer - he previews the Saturday racing.
Nap: One For Arthur (1.30 Aintree)
Double: Defi Du Seuil (3.00 Sandown)
Defi Du Seuil can silence the doubters on his ability to be a top two-miler by beating some talented and more experienced campaigners in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Because his two Grade One victories over fences have come over two and a half miles, both at the main expense of Gold Cup favourite Lostintranslation, his critics do not think he has the speed to be just as effective at this trip.
Philip Hobbs' charge was a three-time scorer at the highest level in his novice hurdle days, including in the Triumph at Cheltenham, when he went through that season unbeaten.
He went some way to putting the record straight when he made a winning reappearance in the Shloer Chase, with the extremely smart Politologue back in second.
Defi Du Seuil is sure to have come on for that first run since May and he can see off all-comers to cement his prospects for more honours at two miles, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Nube Negra has won both his races over fences so far and can pass his biggest test to date in the Read Road To Cheltenham At racingtv.com Henry VIII Novices' Chase.
Dan Skelton has made no secret of the high regard in which he holds Nube Negra - and he believes the five-year-old is tailor-made for Sandown.
Timberman can give trainer Nicky Henderson a fourth win in six years in the Peter & Thelma Brooks Diamond Anniversary 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.
After chasing home stablemate Son Of Camas in a Newbury bumper, Timberman can strike first time over the smaller obstacles.
One For Arthur can make a triumphant return to Aintree in the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase.
Lucinda Russell's stable star has not tasted success since that unforgettable day in April 2017 when he won the Grand National.
Things have not gone smoothly since then, and One For Arthur has had just four races in the following 32 months. But he showed he still retained plenty of ability when sixth to Tiger Roll in last season's Nationa,l and there were encouraging signs too when he returned at Kelso six weeks ago.
Another positive is that One For Arthur dropped to a mark just 1lb higher than when he enjoyed his finest hour.
Ultragold is another course winner who can make his specialist knowledge count over the National fences in the Virgin Bet Grand Sefton Chase.
The 11-year-old, trained by Colin Tizzard, is a dual winner of the Topham Chase and was runner-up in this race in 2017.
Tizzard can also strike with Native River in the Virgin Bets Price Boosts Many Clouds Chase.
The 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero starts on the road back to that race, in an attempt to improve on his fourth last term. He usually runs well fresh and can come out on top in what looks an intriguing contest.
Raaeb should book his place on All-Weather Championship Finals Day by winning the Ladbrokes 'Play 1-2-Free' On Football Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton, a Fast-Track Qualifier.
Saeed bin Suroor's youngster won in great style at Kempton last time, after showing good form on turf, and looks a decent prospect.
Sporting Life tips
AINTREE: 11.30 Chance A Tune, 12.00 Atlanta Ablaze, 12.30 Sammy Bill, 1.00 Mount Mews, 1.30 One For Arthur, 2.05 Galice Macalo, 2.40 Native River, 3.15 Ultragold.
CHEPSTOW: 12.20 Domaine De L'Isle, 12.55 Jepeck, 1.25 Final Choice, 1.55 Calipto, 2.30 Sojourn, 3.05 Equus Dancer, 3.40 Mighty Meg.
NAVAN: 12.05 Festival D'ex, 12.35 Envious Editor, 1.05 Moyhenna, 1.35 Trappist Monk, 2.10 Tornado Flyer, 2.45 Ex Patriot, 3.20 Wide Receiver.
SANDOWN: 12.15 Timberman, 12.50 Aimee De Sivola, 1.20 Lord Of The Island, 1.50 Nube Negra, 2.25 Smarty Wild, 3.00 DEFI DU SEUIL (NAP), 3.35 Coningsby.
WETHERBY: 12.10 Holme Abbey, 12.40 Manofthemoment, 1.10 Electron Bleu, 1.40 Ballyvic Boru, 2.15 Snookered, 2.50 Dino Boy, 3.25 Storm Force One.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.50 Star Of Valour, 5.20 Muraaqeb, 5.50 Waldkonig, 6.20 Raaeb, 6.50 Requited, 7.20 Paths Of Glory, 7.50 Dragon Mountain, 8.20 Lovely Lou Lou.
DOUBLE: One For Arthur and Defi Du Seuil
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