Aintree Festival Day 2: Melling Chase runners, odds, trends and a verdict

The main event on Day 2 of Aintree’s Grand National Festival is the Grade 1 Melling Chase over 2m4f. With a £250,000 prize pot on offer, it’s certainly a race worth winning. A quality field of seven has been declared and it’s shaping up to be a cracking race. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing where you can find a tip for every race at Aintree.


1. Conflated

Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old kept on to take third in the Ryanair at Cheltenham last time out. The 2m4f trip on this flatter track will be sharp enough for him.

2. Easy Game

Willie Mullins’ only representative is a solid horse at Grade 2 level but his overall form suggests he has something to find here.

3. Envoi Allen

He’s a very good horse on his day but isn’t getting any younger and looks vulnerable. It’s always dangerous to fully rule him out however.

4. Jonbon

This horse has been crying out for the step up to 2m4f and he’s arguably the best horse in this race. Provided the extra four furlongs suit, he should be bang in there.

5. Minella Drama

Trained by Donald McCain, he finished second in this race last year but could struggle this time. The level of competition is much higher and he’s best watched.

6. Pic D’Orhy

Paul Nicholls’ gelding won this race well last year and was an impressive winner at Ascot last time out. Connections swerved Cheltenham to save him for this race and a big run is expected.

7. Protektorat

Victory in the Ryanair Chase was a bit of a surprise at Cheltenham last time out as he had looked regressive beforehand. 2m4f at Aintree might be on the sharp side but he’s capable of featuring here.


There are three 10-year-olds in this race and every one of the last 10 winners has been nine or younger, suggesting the veterans could struggle.

Three of the last four winners were favourites and this one could go the way of the punters once again.

Recent history suggests Cheltenham absentees and Champion Chase runners are the one’s to go for, which bodes well for a couple of the runners.


Jonbon looks like the one to side with as there are some signs that the Henderson yard is returning to form. The step up to 2m4f will suit and he’s the most talented horse in the field.

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

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