Our pundit has three bets for Saturday's action including Cepage for an in-form Venetia Williams at Aintree.
VENETIA Williams’ horses are already performing well this season in the prevailing soft ground and CEPAGE may prove the class act in the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.
Although saddled with 11st12lb top weight, the seven-year-old is not conceding lumps to his rivals by any means and will surely take the beating if able to reproduce his battling second to the subsequent Ryanair winner Frodon in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last December when the pair finished fully 15 lengths clear of last week's Wetherby winner Guitar Pete.
Sadly, that was the last we saw of Cepage until now but the seven-year-old has a good record fresh - he won first time out at Newbury in Decmber, 2016 and was beaten just half a length at Ascot on his reappearance last season - and, with his stable in fine form, can be expected to be well tuned up despite whatever setback afflicted him.
Last year's winner War Sound is weighted to go well again but showed nothing in four subsequent efforts while Old Grangewood remains fairly treated on his best form, some of which has come at Aintree.
Earlier, last week's Ascot withdrawal THE LAST DAY is fancied to take the Download The App At Virgin Bet Handicap Chase.
This lightly-raced seven-year-old showed plenty of promise over fences last season chasing home White Moon (an unlucky loser recently) at Exeter and Whatswrongwithyou (now rated 142) at Ffos Las before easily justifying odds-on favouritism at Carlisle in March.
Thought to need plenty of cut in the ground by trainer Evan Williams, this looks an ideal opportunity on ground described as soft off what could prove a lenient rating of 131.
At Wincanton, the Badger Beers Silver Trophy has a really open look with Present Man seeking to win for the third year running.
Best when fresh, Bryony Frost's bold-jumping mount has conditions in his favour again but the fact he runs off a 4lb higher mark this year yet has a bit less weight suggests this is a slightly stronger renewal, and he showed little in subsequent outings last term.
Despite going up 5lb for his luckless last fence fall here last month, the aforementioned WHITE MOON still looks well handicapped on the strength of his effort at Cheltenham last November when holding every chance only to be practically knocked to the ground at the final fence.
With the first three home Count Meribel, Le Breuil and Mr Whipped now rated 151, 151 and 149 respectively, Colin Tizzard's grey must have chances of enjoying a change of fortune off just 142.
Preview posted at 1510 GMT on 08/11/19