7.05pm Aintree Tips & Betting Preview 13/05/2016

IN SUMMARY: The most interesting runner is SAINT CHARLES (6/1), who may not have been suited by the soft ground when a bit disappointing on his sole appearance last season and remains unexposed. Nicky Henderson’s 6yo chased home Thistlecrack in novice company in early 2015 and his earlier success at Doncaster suggests today’s trip/ground will suit. Burtons Well was beaten at odds of 1/5 when last in action 425 days ago but had showed considerable promise beforehand and will be feared if strong in the betting. Last year’s Swinton Hurdle winner War Sound is another lightly raced one to consider. Lough Kent needs to prove his stamina for 2m4f but ran well at Cheltenham last month and completes the shortlist.

1 War Sound – Clearcut winner of Grade 3 handicap at Haydock (2m, good to soft) just over a year ago, his fifth career start; seen only once since then, when down the field in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February, but the ground was heavy that day and he remains one to be interested in; upped in trip today.

2 Maximiser – Lightly raced and very promising 8yo; fell in a chase on latest British start (November) but comes here after going close in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil (2m5f, very soft) in March; can make his presence felt if coping with the faster ground here.

3 Party Rock – Goes very well over this C&D and landed a valuable prize in Grade 3 handicap at the Grand National festival last month; will be fine on today’s faster ground but wasn’t in same form at Sandown on latest outing and current mark leaves him with little margin for error.

4 Mad Jack Mytton – Didn’t get the best of runs when very respectable fifth at Sandown (2m4f, good) last month and might be better suited by the easier track here; enters calculations, but his finishing effort can sometimes be rather feeble and, for that reason, others make more appeal.

5 Gran Maestro – Dug deep to win Listed handicap at Market Rasen (2m, good) last summer and will also be suited by today’s trip but been absence since lesser effort back at Market Rasen in September and remains on career-high mark.

6 General Ginger – 2-7 over hurdles, the wins coming in novice company last year (2m/2m2f); only third off today’s mark on handicap debut at Taunton (2m, good) in March and today’s race looks more competitive, but this step up in trip may unlock some improvement.

7 Saint Charles – Seen only once last season, when moderate fifth on handicap debut at Newbury (2m, soft) in March; clearly needs to improve on that performance but his win in novice company at Doncaster (2m3f, good) in January 2015 offers significant hope today’s combination of trip and ground will show him in a better light.

8 Burtons Well – Readily made winning debut at Newton Abbot (2m2f, soft) in October 2014 but been seen only twice since then, more recently when beaten at very short odds at Carlisle (2m1f, soft) in March 2015; untested on ground quicker than soft and comes with risks attached but may yet make up for lost time and opening handicap mark looks workable; market strength interesting.

9 Desert Cry – Very useful in his prime but hasn’t been firing on all all cylinders for a while now and first-time blinkers had only a limited effect at Kelso on latest outing in March; continues to slide down the weights but others have more appealing profiles.

10 Great Hall – Formerly very useful on the Flat and made good start to hurdling career when winning Huntingdon maiden (2m, good) for John Quinn in October; in the frame both subsequent runs in this sphere, the more recent on stable debut after break last month, but his opening handicap mark demands progress over today’s new trip.

11 Lough Kent – Certainly not disgraced when midfield in Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham festival in March and ran a big race when fourth back over hurdles in first-time cheekpieces there (2mf, good) last month; yet to convince stamina-wise over 2m4f but could have a say.

12 Go West Young Man – Quirky customer who had become very frustrating until gaining overdue success in Kempton handicap (2m5f, good) recently, his 15th start over hurdles; did that quite comfortably in the end but it’s still wise to have reservations; only due to go up 6lb but runs under 7lb penalty.

13 Nathans Pride – Won four times over hurdles in 2014 but been lightly raced since then and was comfortably held at Ayr (2m4f, good to soft) on latest outing a fortnight ago; will be better suited by today’s faster ground but still needs to up his game.

14 The Road Ahead – Not seen since finishing second in the C&D mares’ handicap on this card for Peter Bowen a year ago, a race she won in 2014; will need to return in peak form to have any chance in this company on debut for new stable; headgear discarded.

myracing Forecast Prices: 4/1 General Ginger, 6/1 War Sound, Saint Charles, 7/1 Mad Jack Mytton, 8/1 Gran Maestro, Go West Young Man, 12/1 Maximiser, Lough Kent, 14/1 Party Rock, Burtons Well, Great Hall, 20/1 Nathans Pride, The Road Ahead, 25/1 Desert Cry

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