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Could we see see a new National fav?
The Grand National is surely the long-range target for last year’s Midlands National winner Time To Get Up, so it will be interesting to see how he fares over the unique fences in Saturday’s Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree (14:15). Time To Get Up had shown some ability during his novice hurdle campaign with Joseph O’Brien, notably chasing home Monkfish at a respectable distance at Fairyhouse, but he thrived over fences for Jonjo O’Neill last season, showing much-improved form when his stamina was tapped into.
Time To Get Up won with plenty up his sleeve at Wincanton and then stayed on powerfully to collar subsequent Scottish National winner Mighty Thunder at Uttoxeter, doing well to come from as far back as he did in a steadily-run contest.
He has very few miles on the clock for a staying chaser and he might well be next April’s Grand National favourite on Saturday evening if showing up well over an inadequate trip in the Grand Sefton.
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Let’s not forget the Welsh equivalent
It’s well worth keeping an eye on the three-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree (13:08) with an eye on the future as Remastered seems the type to thrive in marathon handicap chases, with the Welsh National appealing as an obvious target. Remastered failed to score in handicap hurdles during the 2019/20 season, but he occasionally caught the eye with how fluently he travelled before an inability to quicken proved his downfall.
The big, strong Remastered had a running style and physique that suggested he would take well to chasing and he enjoyed a successful campaign, winning his first three outings, including the Grade 2 Reynoldstown at Ascot, before finishing a respectable fifth in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. It’s possible that he will need the run on his return to action on Saturday, but an encouraging display would have him right at the top of the shortlist so far as December’s Welsh National is concerned.
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Feeling the love for a Progressive handicapper
Your Darling looked an absolute natural when bolting up on his chasing debut at Huntingdon last month and it would be little surprise were he to brush off an 8 lb rise in the weights in the 13:40 at Aintree on Saturday.
Your Darling has always been held in high regard and he made an impressive start to his career when readily landing a Newbury bumper. He failed to meet expectations over hurdles last season, with a hard-fought win on his final start of the campaign representing a meagre return, but he looked a completely different proposition on his return last month. Your Darling attacked his obstacles with relish, jumping superbly. That performance was better than anything he achieved over hurdles and he retains the scope to do even better in this sphere.
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