A YEAR ago GARDE LA VICTOIRE made his hurdling debut at Aintree’s October meeting and kick-started an impressive campaign with an easy win over Regal Encore. On Saturday he returns to the scene of that success in the valuable opening handicap that kicks off Aintree’s two-day meeting.
Philip Hobbs’ five year old goes well fresh and has the decent ground he likes. The trip might be a little short and he has to carry top weight but he has a definite touch of class and has won first time out twice. Richard Johnson is riding as well as ever and he is among a strong book of rides.
Dickie can double up on HORIZONTAL SPEED in a tasty looking novice chase although both Timesremembered and Golden Hoof look formidable rivals. Horizontal Speed looks every inch a chaser and is one to follow.
Alan King has booked Barry Geraghty for UXIZANDRE in the Old Roan Chase and the six year old does not look badly handicapped after his Grade One success over course and distance in April. Forcing tactics revitalised this horse in the spring and he should take some pegging back. It’s great to see Bold Sir Brian back and he has slipped a few pounds down the ratings after his layoff, so it would be no surprise if runs into a place at a decent price.
Another excellent novice chase is at Chepstow where Sego Success, Mosspark and SAUSALITO SUNRISE clash on their chasing debuts. Preference is for the latter who Philip Hobbs has always regarded as a fine prospect.
The 11lb mares allowance could allow THE PIRATE’S QUEEN to trump a decent field in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle while VIEUX LION ROUGE looks fairly treated in the Tote Silver Trophy. This blog is a big fan of VALDEZ and Tom Bellamy’s claim could prove decisive and allow him to make a winning reappearance in the 4.45.