The Grand National fences are in use at Aintree on Saturday, while it is Tingle Creek Chase day at Sandown. There are plenty of potential punts you should consider, then. Here are our experts’ top tips for all the action.
Walk In The Mill can complete Becher Chase hat-trick
In the feature 3m 2f Grade 3 Becher Chase over the Grand National Fences on Merseyside (13:30), course specialist Walk In The Mill can win this handicap again. Aptitude for the unique obstacles is essential, and that is precisely what Robert Walford’s stable star brings to the table.
Walk In The Mill has won the Becher Chase in each of the past two seasons. He also faces a 8lb swing in the weights with 2019 runner-up Kimberlite Candy. After giving 4lb and a 2 1/2 lengths beating to that one 12 months ago, he now gets 4lb.
That is very generous indeed, especially when you consider his fabulous record on the Grand National course. It gives Walk In The Mill leading claims of completing his hat-trick. This is reflected in odds of 6/1 with Unibet, however. Alternatives to him in the Becher Chase to consider include recent Cheltenham 1-2 Ramses De Teillee and top-weight Yala Enki each-way.
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Race-fit Frodon may have edge in Many Clouds Chase
On the Mildmay course at Aintree, the feature over standard steeplechase fences in the 3m Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase (14:40). In a cracking renewal, Frodon has plenty going for him including race fitness. That is not something that main market rivals Native River (last year’s winner) and Santini boast.
Frodon may be a value bet to catch Colin Tizzard’s beloved veteran on the hop. Santini only just scrambled home on his reappearance run last season, so there are reasons to take the pair on. Native River sets the standard with wins in this and the Denman Chase at Newbury, but has been off the track side.
Tizzard inmates have by and large been needing their return to action this season. With Frodon, Paul Nicholls’ charge put in a bold round of jumping under customary front-running tactics at Cheltenham during The Showcase meeting in October. That handicap success off top-weight shows he is in fine form and well worth another crack at this level. Frodon is 5/2 with Betfair to land the Many Clouds Chase spoils.
Glinger Flame and Captain Tom Cat fancied at Aintree
In the 2m 4f handicap hurdle earlier on the Becher Chase card (12:55), Glinger Flame is a consistent sort and looks sure to go well. Trained by Nicky Richards, this eight-year-old is four from six over the smaller obstacles and has never finished outside of the first three. Glinger Flame is clearly better in this sphere than as a chaser.
Despite a career high mark of 135 to contend with, he is well worth a crack stepping up in class. Glinger Flame did enough to defy top-weight and hold Ask Paddington by a cosy head at Hexham on reappearance. Although he missed an intended engagement in a Pertemps Qualifier at Market Rasen, this trip may be more suitable.
Glinger Flame may go in again. Of those lower in the weights, Captain Tom Cat has run solid races at Cheltenham on his last couple of starts. This five-year-old inmate of the Dr Richard Newland stable has Cillin Leonard taking a valuable 7lb off with his claim and could be worth chancing up in class too.
Greaneteen the Tingle Creek Chase choice
At Sandown, meanwhile, the progressive Greaneteen just shades the vote in a cracking renewal of the extended 1m 7f Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase (14:25). Trained by Paul Nicholls, this six-year-old has a progressive profile. Dual champion two-miler Altior commands tons of respect, but isn’t getting any younger.
Greaneteen did need the whole trip of the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter to get up and overhaul Moonlighter. He should come on a bundle for that run, however. If forecast rain arrives, then conditions won’t be ideal for Rouge Vif – the only other horse in this year’s Tingle Creek Chase that is still open to improvement.
Politologue’s win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase effectively came by default. Irish raider Castlegrace Paddy may find this tough, while Olly Murphy’s Brewin’upastorm has tons to find on ratings. It’s a process of elimination with the Tingle Creek Chase this year, then, and Greaneteen gets the nod at 5/1 with 888Sport here.
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Allmankind appeals most in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Allmankind showed real maturity to win his chase bow at Warwick last time out, so can follow-up in the other Grade 1 earlier on the card, the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (13:50). Trained by Dan Skelton, this four-year-old was a very headstrong juvenile hurdler but won the Finale at Chepstow in style last winter.
Although only third in the Triumph Hurdle, Allmankind looks to have learned to settle better in his races now. That is a major plus. He was slick and accurate with his jumping of fences when last in action, and a repeat of that gives him every chance of winning this.
As Allmankind tops official ratings, and there are question marks over some of his rivals, he looks the one to be on. Eldorado Allen was fortunate to win the Arkle Trial last time out, while Wincanton Rising Stars scorer Ga Law drops back in trip. Allmankind is 9/4 with William Hill to back-up his Warwick win with more success at elite level.
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Classic Ben has claims in London National
In the extended 3m 4f London National Handicap Chase (15:00), Classic Ben can gain compensation for falling in last year’s infamous void race. Trained by Stuart Edmunds, this seven-year-old came down at the eighth 12 months ago when sent off the 100/30 favourite. That was off a 2lb higher rating than he has now.
Classic Ben is back down to his last winning mark. That came at this venue over 3m in February 2019 when he held Ami Desbois by a neck. He was a fine staying on second at Exeter on reappearance when trying to give 5lb to Jersey Bean. As Classic Ben was only beaten 6 1/2 lengths but kept on, he should appreciate going back up in trip.
Off a nice racing weight of 10st 11lb, he is the joint youngest in the London National line-up. Cloudy Glen has top-weight for his romp last time out, so Classic Ben looks weighted to run a big race granted a clear round this year. He is 7/2 with William Hill to do just that on Becher Chase day.