Grand Sefton Chase runner-by-runner guide to Saturday’s 2.15 at Aintree

Who wins the first race of the season over the iconic Grand National fences?

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

The National Hunt season is gathering pace and we get our first look at the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton Chase.

One of five races to be run over the iconic obstacles every campaign, the Class 2 contest over 2m 5f has been moved forward from its traditional December slot to add additional glamour to Saturday’s card at Aintree.

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An £80,000 prize pot makes it one of the biggest renewals of the weekend in the United Kingdom and Ireland so we’ve run the rule over the 14-runner field.

The very latest Grand Sefton Chase odds are available via our betting widgets below.

Spyglass Hill

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: H. Morgan Age: 8 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Prominent racer prone to mistakes but he’s classy. Faded after late errors in the Munster National (3m) at Limerick last month and drop in trip will help. Could well take to these fences. Interesting.

Francky Du Berlais

Trainer: Peter Bowen Jockey: Sean Bowen Age: 8 Weight: 11st 11lbs

Thriving in spring/summer, landing a big pot in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen. Better for return there behind Senior Citizen 3 weeks ago and yard have tasted plenty of success over these fences.

The West’s Awake

Trainer: E. J. O’Grady Jockey: Phillip Enright Age: 10 Weight: 11st 11lbs

Won at Kilbeggan in June and placed in useful handicap chases the last twice. Having a belated first go over these fences but he’s got a good completion rate in recent times and could go well.

Time To Get Up

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Jockey: Tom Scudamore Age: 8 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Much improved for switch to chasing for new yard last season, conceding first run but still winning well in Midlands National when last seen. More to come and he’s all over a Grand National contender.

Al Roc

Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 10 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Smart chaser in France but has made an underwhelming start for this yard in 2 runs 8 months apart (wind op in between, ran over hurdles on return). Needs a big revival tried over these fences.

Senior Citizen

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: A. P. Heskin Age: 8 Weight: 11st 5lbs

Ran well both tries over these fences last season (test too much in the mud in this, then placed in messy Topham) and back to winning ways at Market Rasen 3 weeks ago. Big shout despite 5lb rise.

Hogan’s Height

Trainer: Jamie Snowden Jockey: Page Fuller Age: 10 Weight: 11st 4lbs

Stormed to victory in this in 2019 (off just 4lb lower) and while it’s been slim pickings since (left way behind in the National), he didn’t look a lost cause back over hurdles on recent return.

Mac Tottie

Trainer: Peter Bowen Jockey: James Bowen Age: 8 Weight: 11st 1lbs

Ended 2020/21 on a high (2 victories in novice handicap chases last term) but returned with a poor effort at Fontwell. May revive over these fences given the yard, who also run Francky du Berlais.

Cat Tiger

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Mr David Maxwell Age: 7 Weight: 11st 0lbs

Classy chaser who won Leicester hunter in March and ran well over these fences in the Foxhunters’. Not so good at Southwell when last seen but these sort of races will rightly remain on his radar.

Via Dolorosa

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: David Noonan Age: 9 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Useful jumper at up to 23f in France, though his claiming hurdle win 42 days ago was his first since December 2017. Not obviously well treated starting out for new yard.

Thomas Macdonagh

Trainer: Jamie Snowden Jockey: Gavin Sheehan Age: 8 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Improved form over fences last term, the only finisher at Catterick (25f, heavy) and signing off with a good run at Haydock. All stamina and expect to see him prominent under in-form rider. Respected.

Five Star Getaway

Trainer: Christian Williams Jockey: Nick Scholfield Age: 7 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Ex-pointer who progressed rapidly upon going chasing last term, easily winning 3 handicaps. Should have come on for Chepstow return and not dismissed on first go over these fences.

Sir Jack Yeats

Trainer: Richard Spencer Jockey: James Best Age: 10 Weight: 10st 6lbs

Fairly useful chaser, very reliable over these fences and ran well for a long way once more in the Topham when last seen. One for each-way players at a big price again.

Manwell

Trainer: Sam England Jockey: Jonathan England Age: 11 Weight: 10st 0lbs

Won on return at Sedgefield (21f, heavy) last term and not seen to best effect after 6 months off on comeback there (29.2f) 20 days ago. Doesn’t appeal as a likely winner on first go on this course.

Timeform Verdict: SENIOR CITIZEN has a big prize in him over these fences judged on the way he took to them twice last season. A return to winning ways in a useful contest at Market Rasen 3 weeks ago proved his well-being and he can come out on top again. All roads point to the National for Time To Get Up but he can still make a mockery of his revised mark on his return. 2019-winner Hogan’s Height may revive.

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