Betway Bowl tips and runner-by-runner guide to Thursday’s 2.55 at Aintree

Can Clan Des Obeaux become the first dual winner since Silviniaco Conti?

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Clan Des Obeaux faces eight rivals as last year’s Betway Bowl winner attempts to defend the title in Thursday’s 2.55pm at Aintree.

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A quality field has been declared including 2019 scorer Kemboy, this season’s Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup hero Conflated, Cheltenham Gold Cup third Protektorat and popular grey Bristol De Mai.

You’ll find Timeform’s horse-by-horse analysis and Betway Bowl tips from our racing boffins below.

Betway Bowl runners

Bristol De Mai

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 11 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Three-time winner of Haydock’s Betfair Chase and ran another cracker at that venue when runner-up under a big weight in Grand National Trial in February. Yet to land this prize after 3 attempts, though, and unlikely to have conditions to suit.

Clan Des Obeaux

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 10 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Top-class chaser who bagged this prize 12 months ago before seeing off Al Boum Photo at Punchestown. Returned with good second in King George VI Chase on Boxing Day but was below par at Newbury last time and connections have now reached for first-time blinkers.

Conflated

Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Davy Russell Age: 8 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Much improved when landing Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on penultimate start and in process of running to similar level when coming down 2 out in Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last month. Return to longer trip will suit and not taken lightly.

Eldorado Allen

Trainer: Colin Tizzard Jockey: Brendan Powell Age: 8 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Has taken his form up a notch this term, bagging Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and Gr 2 Denman Chase at Newbury. Acquitted himself really well (only one to mix it with Allaho) when third in Ryanair Chase latest and looks sure to give another good account here.

Itchy Feet

Trainer: Olly Murphy Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 8 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Grade 1 novice winner over fences and creditable efforts in defeat with cheekpieces fitted this term. Disappointed in first-time blinkers (now discarded) at Kelso last time, though, and has plenty on his plate in this company.

Kemboy

Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: P. Townend Age: 10 Weight: 11st 7lbs

High-class chaser who took this prize in 2019 and made the frame for the fourth time in Gr 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. Below par fifth behind Conflated at same course last time but will be fresher than most (missed Cheltenham) and can’t be ruled out.

Nuts Well

Trainer: Ann Hamilton Jockey: Danny McMenamin Age: 11 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Very smart chaser who is a credit to connections and got back on scoreboard when taking 7-runner listed chase at Kelso last month. Sure to give his best again but will likely find this company too tough.

Protektorat

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 7 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Convincing winner of opening race on this card last term and made it 2 from 2 at this course when easily taking Grade 2 contest in December. Emerged best of British when good third to A Plus Tard in Cheltenham Gold Cup last month and looks sure to make another bold bid here.

Royale Pagaille

Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Charlie Deutsch Age: 8 Weight: 11st 7lbs

Defied a big weight in Peter Marsh at Haydock before good second to Eldorado Allen in Denman Chase at Newbury in February. Gave another good account when fifth in Cheltenham Gold Cup last time but this easier test of stamina may not really play to his strengths.

Betway Bowl tips

Matt Chapman: It’s hard to think PROTEKTORAT didn’t prove his stamina when third in the Gold Cup behind A Plus Tard and we have already got evidence this tight track is absolutely what he enjoys. That came in a startling performance in the Many Clouds Chase earlier in the season. Dan Skelton’s runner is lightly raced this season, fresh and will take some stopping under Harry Skelton.

Mick Fitzgerald: PROTEKTORAT ran a fantastic race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup finishing a good – if distant – third to A Plus Tard. There wasn’t much between the placed horses but the winner was in a league of his own. Partly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, Protektorat won very nicely at the track earlier this season, so that’s a big positive. Irish challenger Conflated is the biggest danger.

Frank Hickey: I’m going to go with ELDORADO ALLEN. He won the Denman Chase at Newbury. I thought he ran a cracker in the Ryanair Chase considering he was the only one to try and go with Allaho and that cost him second place in the end in a really strongly-run race. A return to 3m on a flat track will suit and I’ll chance him each way. He had a hard race but it was over a shorter trip than the Gold Cup.

Racing Post: Progressive 7yo PROTEKTORAT is taken to beat these older rivals and maintain his unblemished record at Aintree. His main threats may be last year’s winner Clan Des Obeaux (second choice) and Irish Gold Cup victor Conflated, though the 2019 winner Kemboy would also be a likely danger if he’s in top form. Royale Pagaille’s chance would improve if the ground is soft or heavy.

Ruby Walsh: CONFLATED would have beaten Eldorado Allen at Cheltenham if he didn’t fall. Some of the others in this had hard races three weeks ago.

Thursday’s Tips

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