Having returned to Cheltenham on Friday, jumps racing heads back to Aintree on Sunday for a card that includes the Old Roan Chase. Roan is a horse coat pattern characterised by an even mixture of coloured and white hairs, however it was the nearly all-white Monet’s Garden who made this race his own (with wins in 2007, 2009 and 2010), so much so that the race sponsors now squeeze his name into the title. Anywho, here’s our picks from the card:
Earlier in the card, Verygoodverygood (9/1) can land a tricky handicap for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He ran respectably back over hurdles at Worcester last month and his young rider Tom Humphries looks good value for his 10 lb claim. Vertigo looks to be flying too high here, while it’s worth keeping one eye on Cyclop, however Verygoodverygood’s biggest danger could be Red Infantry who hit the target in a similar race for conditional jockeys at Sandown 12 months ago.
As well as being a decent footballer for Arsenal, and having golden locks that My Little Pony would have killed for, Ray Parlour had a horse named after him: The Romford Pele (6/1). Parlour played under George Graham at Highbury and his namesake has his first start for a different George on Sunday – trainer Tom – a big run is expected from the Timeform top-rated runner in this one. Potters Cross didn’t kick on as expected from his Newbury win last term, but suggested he was back on track at Chepstow two weeks ago and he looks a big danger.
The Three Musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis – could all have run better than the horse of the same name has in his two starts since reverting to hurdling, and a better bet in the competitive handicap at 2:25pm could be Stamp Your Feet (8/1).
He caught the eye when fourth at Newton Abbot last month and, a proven performer in big fields, could be suited by what should be a strongly-run race. The second-season handicap debutants Sneaky Feeling and Burbank are both hugely respected, as are the two Irish raiders, most notably Lion In His Heart. He has sometimes looked more Tin Man than Lion, running out for the third time in his career when last seen, but he has a good chance on Timeform ratings if on his best behaviour.
A couple of second-season chasers make the most appeal in this year’s renewal at 3:00pm, namely Cloudy Dream (4/1) and Shantou Village. Cloudy Dream signed off last season with a Grade 2 win in a novice event at Ayr and is a strong traveller who should be suited by the test this race is likely to provide, so he gets the nod to take back the race for the greys. Last year’s winner Third Intention, who beat the Melling Chase winner God’s Own 12 months ago, and the potentially well-handicapped Traffic Fluide look the biggest dangers.
Timeform’s Lucky 15 for Aintree:
1.15pm – Verygoodverygood
1.50pm – The Romford Pele
2.25pm – Stamp Your Feet
3.00pm – Cloudy Dream
*Prices correct at time of posting