Frodon is fancied for a repeat win in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree as David Clough previews the action.
Nap: Frodon (3.00 Aintree)
Next Best: Killaro Boy (1.50 Aintree)
Frodon and Bryony Frost should be the toast of Aintree again as they bid to retain their crown in the Virgin Bet Monet's Garden Old Roan Limited Handicap Chase.
The Ryanair Chase-winning pair were a match made in heaven throughout last season, and it all started in this race when they charged round the Mildmay Course in perfect harmony to open the campaign with victory.
That one-and-a-quarter-length success came from a rating of 158, carrying 11st 7lb.
It is a measure of their subsequent success - including of course that Grade One glory at the Cheltenham Festival among three further wins from four starts, all at Prestbury Park - that they must defy an 11lb higher mark.
Frodon will not benefit from his Frost's 3lb claim either this time, because it no longer exists for a jockey who has proved herself among the best in the country.
There is nonetheless every expectation that Paul Nicholls' seven-year-old can launch another successful season with a repeat victory in this Grade Two limited handicap.
His unerring jumping, ultra-determined attitude and surefire fitness for his return will be crucial assets again and are highly likely to prove too much - despite the concession of a stone and upwards all round - for rivals who may well be found out collectively for either a touch of class or experience at this level.
Earlier on an intriguing card, Killaro Boy is worth supporting in the Play Casino At Virgin Bet Veterans' Handicap Chase.
The 10-year-old went within a nose of adding a mid-summer Uttoxeter Listed success to his impressive Warwick hunter chase victory in his only two starts since joining Henry Oliver.
The ex-Irish chaser has winning form on soft and heavy ground, so will not mind any deterioration in conditions and has already demonstrated he can run very well after a break.
In the Best Odds Guaranteed At Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle, Chapmanshype may still be on a winning mark despite going up 19lb in all for his quick Fontwell hat-trick. Any significant softening of the ground would dampen enthusiasm, however.
Debutante White Hart Lady is of interest in the Price Boosts At Virgin Bet EBF Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race specifically because she hails from Harry Fry's yard.
The Dorset trainer knows a decent bumper performer when he gets one, and White Hart Lady is sure to be well-prepared by a yard which has just started to hit form.
At Wincanton, Coningsby is capable of springing a minor surprise in the feature PIB Insurance Brokers Combat Stress Raceday Handicap Chase.
The three-mile-two-and-a-half-furlong event is run for the Desert Orchid Cup, and several big stables are therefore represented.
Coningsby's trainer Tom Lacey is increasingly of that ilk, and is especially adept with recruits from his wife Sophie's point-to-point operation.
Lightly-raced six-year-old Coningsby is one such, and he did enough when winning with authority at Exeter in March to suggest he is well up to this level if avoiding mishap.
Alan King is a trainer to note in the Rickety Bridge Wine Combat Stress Centenary Juvenile Hurdle, and his Twenty Years On therefore jumps off the page.
The gelding has a Flat rating hovering in the mid-60s, and he is just the type to improve for hurdles in King's care.
Sporting Life tips
AINTREE: 12.40 Corrany, 1.15 Hogan's Height, 1.50 Killaro Boy, 2.25 Chapmanshype, 3.00 FRODON (NAP), 3.35 Plan Of Attack, 4.10 White Hart Lady.
GALWAY: 1.05 Mount Ida , 1.40 Galvin, 2.15 Ask Heather, 2.50 Wake Up Early, 3.25 Quartz Du Rheu, 4.00 Russian Bill, 4.35 Global Equity.
WEXFORD: 12.50 Gabbys Cross, 1.25 Surin, 2.00 Conflated, 2.35 Each Way, 3.10 Castlebrook, 3.45 Burning Ambition, 4.20 Infinite Glory.
WINCANTON: 1.00 Demon Fou, 1.35 Soldier Of Love, 2.10 Zyon, 2.45 Coningsby, 3.20 Twenty Years On, 3.55 Eritage, 4.30 Now Look At Me.
DOUBLE: Frodon and Killaro Boy.