Green Dolphin makes his hurdling debut here after showing useful form in bumpers last season and has the makings of a good prospect over obstacles. He put in an above-average performance when winning at Wincanton in March before disappointing slightly at Newbury, possibly finding the run coming too quickly.
He remains one of the better prospects in this field and just shades the vote ahead of the promising Copper Coin, who fell when close up on hurdle debut and retains scope for improvement.
It’s fair to suspect that there is more to come from Mr Muldoon after the way he rattled home at Kelso to record his second win in as many starts. He is stepped up in trip today after being outpaced and looking an unlikely winner for a while on his latest outing before showing a good attitude and plenty of stamina to get back up. He remains open to improvement and is fancied to make a winning start to life in handicap company.
On Tour has been given a chance by the handicapper and it almost cashed in last time out when narrowly denied at Chepstow. He is up just 3lb for that effort and still looks to have a race in him off this mark. He is of obvious appeal here at a course where he often goes well. Killaro Boy ran a stormer in defeat in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter after making a winning debut for new connections and he may have more to offer, so he rates the main danger.
Hey Bud looks open to further improvement after getting off the mark in smart fashion at Wincanton in March and can continue his progression here over the same trip. He confirmed previous promise when scoring in good style last time out and is worth chancing on his handicap debut.
Craftmanship comes into this on the back of a Fontwell hat-trick and should put in another bold showing. He was ridden with confidence on his latest win suggesting there may be more to come from him.
This race looks to be a showdown between the two at the top of the weights with last year’s winner Frodon conceding a stone to Kalashnikov and preference is for the latter. Kalashnikov’s breakthrough victory came in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase over this course and distance and likely still has more to offer, so is taken to make a winning return before moving back into Grade 1 company.
Django Django made an encouraging start to his chasing career at Uttoxeter, but left the impression he was in need of a stiffer test. He is back up to three miles here and he rates the type to make his mark over fences this season. This is by no means an open goal for Django Django, however. The Hollow Ginge and Plan of Attack have both already replicated some of their best hurdle form over fences while Over To Sam shaped encouragingly at Newton Abbot on the back of a lengthy absence last time.
A winning debut would not come as a huge surprise for White Hart Lady considering her yard’s strong record in bumpers, and she is out of a mare that won a bumper on her debut, too. Of the horses with experience under rules Notawordofalie probably rates the most likely threat. She has shown progressive form in bumpers despite showing signs of greenness and should have more to offer.
Timeform’s Aintree Selections: