8.20pm Aintree Tips & Betting Preview 19/05/2017

This is a Class 2 handicap over 3 miles and one furlong, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is a useful handicap and the vote goes to Dan Skelton’s VIRGILIO. He’s a classy performer with graded form to his name and although he has to shoulder a heavy weight here, he’s got solid form in the book and should take all the beating. Southfield Vic is likely to be popular following his success at Newton Abbott last month but this is much tougher whilst any money for Highway Storm would make him of interest off a break.

1 SOUTHFEILD VIC – Has started favourite on five of his last six starts of which he has won four of them. He absolutely hacked up at Newton Abbott just 9 days ago, winning by an easy 24 lengths and he arrives here with just a 7lb penalty so there’s every chance he can follow up that success. However, this is a much stronger contest and he won’t find life anywhere as near as easy. Conditions should be fine and one to consider.

2 VIRGILIO – Classy individual with two placed efforts in Grade 1 company on his last two starts. He was no match for Might Bite at Aintree last month but this is a significantly easier race and a mark of 142 looks reasonable for what he has achieved to date. This looks like a nice opportunity for him to pick up some prize money before the summer and he will be dangerous here for a yard that have a 34% strike rate in the past fortnight. Respected here.

3 CALL ME VIC – Still running to a high level at the grand age of 10. He finished second in a handicap chase back in March off today’s mark and he’s been given some time off the track and returns to action here on more preferable ground (Good). This trip should be fine and he is likely to run his heart out again but he’s slightly vulnerable here to a few improving sorts and may be best opposed today.

4 MINELLACELEBRATION – Arrives here in search of a hat-trick having completed a double earlier this month. That came over 2 miles on Good ground and this extra distance should be no problem at all and he’s clearly in a good vein of form having shown a game attitude to win last time out. This will naturally require more and he has to race off a career high mark so he may be best watched today.

5 INDIAN TEMPLE – Yet to win over 2m 6f under rules and he’s looked better over 2m 4f so today’s trip is a slight concern. He was beaten 5 1/2 lengths by Two Taffs in a stronger race than this towards the end of April and he will find life much easier here off the same mark. He probably has something to find with a few of these now rated in the 130’s and is another worth taking on today.

6 AL CO – Returns to the scene of his last victory and Peter Bowen’s runner won this contest last year. He thrashed his opponents off a 3lb lower mark that day by 9 lengths although he’s struggled since and has only completed two races from four starts. He drops back in trip here having run a modest race in the Scottish Grand National and he’s another that is vulnerable to a couple in this. The old boy is opposed here for a yard with one winner from their last 11 runners.

7 MUSTMEETLADY – Raised 5lbs in the handicap following a 4-length victory at Haydock last month over an extended 3m 4f trip. The cheeckpieces have brought more out of him so it’s no surprise to see them left on again today and this better ground should be no problem at all. He has thrown in the odd poor round of jumping which is slightly concerning but he enters calculations here off a reasonable mark.

8 ACCORDING TO HARRY – Pretty reliable sort with form figures of 133121 to his name. He won a Class 3 chase at Ludlow last month and the handicapper has been slightly harsh on him, handing him a 6lb penalty. His jumping wasn’t great that day and he’s certainly not going to get away with that here against this tougher opposition and he’s opposed here although he gets the services of Richard Johnson (17% strike rate in the past fortnight).

9 FACT OF THE MATTER – Fairly impressive since switched to fences with three wins and two placed efforts to his name. He should improve for his last run which came off a lengthy-break and he’s been handed a 5lb rise which looks fair for what he has achieved so far. This is a tougher assignment but he looks to be improving with each run and his jumping has looked sharper on each occasion. Not discounted here.

10 HIGHWAY STORM – First run for Richard Hobson today having left Rebecca Curtis’ yard. He was last seen finishing pulled up at Ffos Las in December on Heavy ground and that was disappointing having won a Soft ground novice chase over 2m 5f previous to that run. He can only be watched here on the back of that performance and off this break but he would be of interest here with market support.

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