13:35 Aintree Sat 10 November 2018
Failed to complete for the eighth time in his last 16 starts on final start at Sandown last season over fences (3m5f). Won over hurdles the time before at Ascot (3m) but the concern here is that all seven career wins come with cut in the ground.
Having missed most of last season he finished seventh at Cheltenham and sixth at Punchestown festivals. Fell early over fences latest and reverts to hurdles over 3m for first time but has potential given he is relatively lightly raced.
Winner over 3m on soft ground last season was subsequently a close fifth in the Coral Cup (soft) at Cheltenham before disappointing there next on quicker ground. Stays well and still off a fair mark but would have preferred softer ground.
Struggled at Cheltenham and here after winning lesser event at Southwell lasts season but won since over fences at Cartmel although only two of four finished and only real rival on form fell. Hurdles mark appears high enough on recent showings.
Does most of his racing in the summer months and won once this summer over fences at Perth. Race fit after three recent starts but well beaten third of seven at Wetherby latest gives him plenty to find here.
Won three times since March with the most recent over 2m6f at Cartmel in July. Never threatened in two fifths since however at same venue and at Perth and now faces stiffer competition.
Three-time hurdle winner at up to 2m3½f although seemed to stay 3m last season. Finished year with two very ordinary efforts here (last of 12) and at Sandown (pulled-up) so plenty to prove here.
High class chaser in 2017 winning Leinster National before third in Irish Grand National. Below par next and off for subsequent 440 days but runs here off 24lb lower hurdles mark so if ready he could be pretty much thrown-in.
Last Year's Winner
|Louis' Vac Pouch||5||10-6||5/2|
|T: P J HobbsJ: R Johnson|
Abolitionist (11/8), Hear No Evil (5/2), Dream Berry (3/1), The Organist (9/2), Jacks Last Hope (9/1), Stamp Your Feet (12/1), Regal Encore (16/1), Jeannot De Nonant (25/1), William Of Orange (33/1)
- Hear No Evil
- The Organist
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