Touch Kick was better than ever when making an impressive reappearance at Fakenham in October and a 7lb rise for that commanding success looks fair. He proved steadily progressive last season, winning at Hereford and Taunton, but he seemed a different proposition with another summer under his belt at Fakenham, going through the race like one well worth his place in a valuable handicap. His proven stamina could come in handy and he makes plenty of appeal on his first start over the National fences.
13:00 Aintree – Clyne
Clyne shaped as if he would benefit from the run when finishing down the field in the Welsh Champion Hurdle over an inadequate trip on his reappearance, and he is of interest with that outing under his belt – particularly as a 5lb drop in the weights means he is now below his last winning mark. He last won at Uttoxeter in March 2018 and followed that up with a career-best effort the following month when third in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle over this course and distance. He is well treated on those pieces of form.
13:30 Aintree – One For Arthur
One For Arthur has been lightly raced since winning the 2017 Grand National, but he proved he retains plenty of ability when finishing sixth in last season’s edition. He shaped better than the result behind Tiger Roll, making good progress from the rear before his huge effort took its toll on the run-in – and he looks well treated off a 5lb lower mark. He has had a pipe-opener at Kelso, which he seems sure to come on for, and everything is set for him to launch a bold bid around a unique course, which clearly does not faze him. His main rival, in what is an admittedly tough contest, could be Definitly Red, who has a good record around Aintree’s Mildmay course and is well handicapped.
13:30 One For Arthur
15:15 Touch Kick