1.50pm Aintree tips for Sunday’s Class 2 race. The latest in the series of this popular string of veterans chases with plenty of old favourites on show. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: THE ROMFORD PELE is a fascinating one sent back over fences on his debut for the Tom George yard. He has the ability to pick these up and carry them at his best with this ground looking perfect. Benbens represents Nigel Twiston-Davis, ideally suited by further he along with Gas Line Boy are going to be forcing the pace along, they have each way chances from workable marks. Katkeau has gone well fresh in the past, he looks best of the rest
1 KATKEAU – Lacks consistency so never been the easiest to predict, he is more than capable of winning at this level. The majority of his best form has come on softer ground but has won when fresh in the past so no back number.
2 GAS LINE BOY – Last seen finishing firth in the Grand National. Will be looking to make this as much of a stamina test as possible, a bold jumping front runner, he has the ability to put these to the sword from a long way out.
3 THE ROMFORD PELE – Three miles on good ground suits perfectly, starting out for Tom George here. Not quite fulfilled his potential but if the change of yard has a positive effect, he is well enough treated on his best form to be a big contender.
4 SHUIL ROYALE – Winner of this contest last season from a two pound higher mark. Shown very little in three starts since but with ideal conditions, he is not one to be writing off completely despite having a chunk to find on his most recent form.
5 CALL ME VIC – Has gone well here in the past but was very disappointing when last seen. Conditions will suit but he has no great record when fresh so is comfortably passed over.
6 BENBENS – The 2015 winner of this race, he rounded out his last campaign with a pair of huge runs in the Scottish National and the bet365 Gold Cup. Probably better suited to more of a test of stamina now, but well enough treated if ready to go first time up.
7 CLOUDY TOO – Majority of his best form has come with a little more cut in the ground. Work to do with Gas Line Boy on their meeting at Kelso last season and was easily beaten on his return. Plenty to prove at present.
8 MASTERS HILL – Without a win since February 2015, but capable of making his presence felt off this mark. Better suited by a stiffer track but has a solid record when fresh and any rain will help his chance if it gets into the ground.
9 POTTERS CROSS – Won from a pound lower last December, pulled up in three of his four starts since. Burst a blood vessel on his seasonal debut so best left alone for now.
10 NO PLANNING – Solid chaser at about this trip, he didn’t show much on a blowout over hurdles to begin his campaign. The Sue Smith yard aren’t quite firing on all cylinders at the moment and this is a deep enough contest for him.
11 ASTRACAD – Tends to save his best for Cheltenham but has performed with plenty of credit at this track. The trip is the big concern, his wins all coming at shorter, has never given the impression that three miles is what he desires.
12 THEATRICAL STAR – Nearly three years since he last got his head in front but he was runner-up in the final of this series at Sandown in January. Would like genuinely soft ground to be seen at his best with qualifying for another trip to the final looking the plan.
13 ALDERBROOK LAD – Cartmel specialist, connections did well to get him back to the track following a traffic accident. Tired when refusing at the last at Carlisle just ten days ago, he’s easy to oppose.
14 BOB TUCKER – Has won on heavy ground but the very best of his form has come on top of the ground so wouldn’t want rain. Didn’t show enough at Ludlow on his return to be of interest this time despite the slipping mark.
15 MISTER FIRST – Picked up a pair of minor contests at Perth in May 2016, the last time he got his head in front. Beaten a long way on his seasonal debut, tough to support pitched in this deep.
16 BAILEYS CONCERTO – Consistent over the summer at a lesser level. Nearly three years since he last got his head in front so would be a surprise winner from just out of the handicap.