Some familiar faces are involved in the Class 2 veterans’ chase on Sunday’s Aintree card. Read our full race preview for our experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: As is often the case in veterans’ chases, not many of these look well handicapped and the outcome is likely to depend on which of the old-timers is in the right mood on the day. However, that doesn’t mean good betting opportunities can’t be found and the suggestion is YOUR BUSY. The 13yo is the oldest runner in the line-up and has become rather one-paced but he gave a decent account when close third to Double Ross off today’s mark at Chepstow a fortnight ago and ran what was arguably the best race of his career over C&D at the 2015 Grand National meeting. He’s well worth backing each-way at the odds on offer. Double Ross is still feasibly weighted after that Chepstow success and is respected. The experiment with cheekpieces for Baileys Concerto didn’t pay dividends but he may better his recent efforts with the headgear now removed. Bearly Legal ran an excellent race in the Irish Grand National and is another to consider.
1 Double Ross – Drew a blank last season but capitalised on some help from the handicapper when holding on gamely to win a veterans’ chase at Chepstow (2m7f, good) a fortnight ago; not certain to be in the same form here but subsequent 3lb rise doesn’t look excessive.
2 Eastlake – Ended last season with excellent success over the big fences at the Grand National meeting here (2m5f, soft) in April but begins new campaign from career-high mark and chance probably depends on today’s new trip unlocking some improvement.
3 Shuil Royale – Landed a Listed handicap at Uttoxeter (3m2f, good) in summer 2015 and was also successful in first-time cheekpieces at Newton Abbot (3m2f, good) in May but went up another 4lb for his close second at Worcester (2m7f, good to firm) in August and needs to find something extra here.
4 Forgotten Gold – Two wins last season, the first on reappearance outing at Wincanton (3m2f, good) a year ago and the latter at Ascot (3m, good to soft) in April; also ran well when last in action 192 days ago but is another that starts his new campaign from a career-high mark.
5 Masters Hill – Put in a decent front-running shift when eighth in the Scottish Grand National on latest appearance in April but has tasted victory only once in the last three years and may need a stiffer test of stamina than this to be seen to best effect.
6 Russian Regent – From a respected Irish stable and held on gamely to fend off Baileys Concerto at Perth (3m, good) in June; now 3lb higher than when second in this race last year and was slightly disappointing at Cartmel on latest appearance in August, but still enters calculations.
7 Dineur – Dug deep to score at Worcester (2m4f, good to soft) in June and will also be suited by today’s trip but looked held when unseating his rider in the Chepstow veterans’ chase won by Double Ross a fortnight ago and the suspicion is that he’s too high in the weights at present.
8 Your Busy – The only teenager in the line-up but proved he still retains plenty of ability when close third to Double Ross at Chepstow (2m7f, good) a fortnight ago; runs off the same mark here and it’s worth noting he recorded what was probably his career-best performance over C&D, when close second at the 2015 Grand National meeting; one to consider.
9 Baileys Concerto – Appeared not to react well to cheekpieces when soundly beaten on last two outings (Flat/fences) and it’s hard to argue he’s particularly well handicapped, but today trip, track and ground will all suit and, with the headgear now removed, it’s quite possible he can play a part.
10 Barely Legal – Irish-raider; not at best over a marathon trip at the Punchestown festival on latest appearance in April but ran a big race when fifth in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse (3m5f. yielding to soft) two starts ago and has the speed to cope with the reduced emphasis on stamina here; interesting.
myracing Forecast Prices: 7/2 Double Ross, 4/1 Forgotten Gold, 7/1 Shuil Royale, 8/1 Eastlake, Masters Hill, Your Busy, Bearly Legal. 10/1 Russian Regent, 14/1 Baileys Concerto, 16/1 Dineur