2.25pm Aintree Tips & Betting Preview 29/10/2017

2.25pm Aintree tips for Sunday’s Class 2 race. Another very competitive handicap with some smart performers chasing a first prize of over £17,200. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

IN SUMMARY: BAGS GROOVE looked as if he would come on massively for his return at Chepstow, staying on well up the straight. Conditions should be in his favour with that pipe opener having blown away any cobwebs. Sneaky Feeling is three pounds worse off for beating the selection a neck at Newbury last season. He looks the main danger today, with Inner Drive and Clondaw Kaempfer others who hold solid each way claims.

1 BURBANK – Smart form as a novice, including fourth in the Neptune. Didn’t find as much off the bridle as would have been liked on his final start at Ayr and this opening handicap gambit is no gimme for him.

2 THREE MUSKETEERS – Smart form over both hurdles and fences but it’s sporadic with more than enough below par efforts thrown in. Didn’t show a great deal in his campaign opener at Chepstow and although this is easier, still needs more.

3 BALLYALTON – Great to see this horse back on track, seen just once since winning at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Four and a half lengths behind Faugheen when last seen in this discipline in 2014, he very well treated if cherry ripe returning from a long absence.

4 MASSINI’S TRAP – Sprung a 25/1 shock when landing the money in this race last year. Still five pounds higher than that mark here so is going to need a little more to repeat the dose, with recent efforts leaving plenty to be desired.

5 INNER DRIVE – Seen just once in the last twenty-three months, he’s shown plenty of promise. Strong second on his handicap debut at Newbury earlier this year, a three pound rise is perfectly fair, potentially far better than this mark.

6 SNEAKY FEELING – Took some nice scalps in novice events, slamming the decent Mr Clarkson by twenty-two lengths at Sandown. Strikes as more of a future chaser than a handicap hurdler but this mark must be tempting for connections to bring him here, interesting.

7 THELIGNY – Improved rapidly last season, impressing when winning at Newbury at the end of 2016. He was pushed up seven pounds for that so needs to get straight back in the groove on his seasonal debut.

8 CLONDAW KAEMPFER – Twice a course and distance winner, could well have been a triple winner but for a blunder at the last at the Grand National meeting when in front. Has won fresh in the past and not handicapped out of things.

9 BAGS GROOVE – Three pounds better off for a neck beating from Sneaky Feeling last season, He has the benefit of having had a pipe opener, shaping well at Chepstow when looking in need of the race. That should have put him spot on now, the one to beat.

10 LION IN HIS HEART – Nasty habit of running out in his races, he showed very little at Cheltenham on Friday. Would be a surprise winner if he could bounce back just two days later.

11 CAIUS MARCIUS – Two pounds above his last winning mark, he steps up to this trip for the first time. He shapes as if it is within his grasp with conditions to suit him but this is a competitive enough race to be proving his stamina in.

12 BOBO MAC – Finally off the mark at the thirteenth time of asking in a Southwell maiden last time. That may have done his confidence the power of good, but it’s a very different test now in handicap company, needs another step forward.

13 STAMP YOUR FEET – Significant improvement since being fitted with a tongue strap, he shaped as if the run would bring him on when fourth at Newton Abbot. Didn’t prove his stamina for this trip there but should stay, each way chance.

14 WOOD BREIZH – Winless over hurdles for three years, he wasn’t one of the stable stars at Closutton. James Moffatt is a canny trainer when it comes to cast offs so interesting to watch the market for expectations on this occasion.

15 RETURN FLIGHT – Improved for taking on chase fences on soft ground. Off since taking a fall at Kempton in January, he may just need this before going back over the bigger obstacles, a first time tongue strap is fitted for his return.

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