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Trainer: Kim Bailey Jockey: David Bass Age: 8 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Emphatic Ascot Grade 2 winner last term and while he’s failed to complete on each of his 3 starts since, he travelled well prior to falling 7 out on return in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. Claims.
Trainer: Colin Tizzard Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr. Age: 11 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Bagged this prize in 2019 and added the Cotswolds Chase to his big-race haul last season. Well below par here when last seen in April, but will be a danger to all if conditions are testing.
Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Bridget Andrews Age: 6 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Enjoyed fine first season over fences last term, culminating in Grade 1 success here. Strong at the finish when runner-up in big Cheltenham handicap (20.2f) on return and this trip should be ideal.
Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 9 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Good third of 6 to Imperial Aura in intermediate chase at Carlisle last November, and far from disgraced in a Punchestown handicap back from a break in May. However, this is tougher.
Simply The Betts
Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Gavin Sheehan Age: 8 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Major improver over fences during 2019/20 season. Limited to just one appearance last term, but shaped well on return for new yard in big Cheltenham handicap and this trip should be within range.
The Two Amigos
Trainer: Nicky Martin Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 9 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Likeable stayer who did little wrong last season, notably finishing second in the Welsh National at Chepstow. Last win was back in January 2019, though, and likely to come up short at this level.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: James Bowen Age: 11 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Dual Grand National winner who returned to form when landing the Glenfarclas Chase for the third time at Cheltenham in March. Failed to fire here next time, though, and likely to need the run.
Wishing And Hoping
Trainer: Mel Rowley Jockey: Alex Edwards Age: 11 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Picked up where he left off last season when making a successful reappearance in a C&D handicap in October, but this 11-y-o has much more on his plate now upped in class.
NEW TO PADDY POWER?
Timeform Verdict: SIMPLY THE BETTS finished behind Protektorat in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but that was a most encouraging effort given that he was returning from a year off and the combination of this step up in trip and sharper track could be just the tonic. Protektorat won’t go down without a fight and 2019 winner Native River is greatly respected, too, but Imperial Aura is second choice.
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