An excellent field has been declared for the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase on Sunday’s Aintree card. Read on for our horse-by-horse race preview and our experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Three Musketeers has displayed significant promise in novice company and his trainer reportedly has very high hopes for him this season. However, he may prefer some underfoot ease and, today, preference is for ROYAL REGATTA. Philip Hobbs’ 8yo responded well to the fitting of blinkers last season and the bare form of his second in a valuable Ascot handicap at Ascot in January should be upgraded, given he kicked for home too soon. Third Intention has contested several valuable chases in recent years and begins his new campaign on a very handy mark. God’s Own, a Grade 1 winner over C&D at the Grand National meeting in April, also enters calculations.
1 Smad Place – Produced an excellent performance to win the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury (3m2f, soft) from the front last November and subsequently scored in Grade 2 company at Cheltenham (3m1f, heavy); not seen since a disappointing run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, though, and may find this an inadequate stamina test.
2 Sire De Grugy – Gained the most notable of his five Grade 1 wins in the 2014 Champion Chase at Cheltenham (2m, good) and was also successful at the highest level in December, in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown (2m, good to soft); certainly looks worth another crack at today’s trip but ended last season with a couple of disappointing efforts and returns to action with a bit to prove.
3 God’s Own – Enjoyed Grade 1 success in the Melling Chase over C&D (good to soft) in April and again over 2m at the Punchestown festival a couple of weeks later; begins new campaign on a lofty handicap mark but has won when fresh before and needs to be taken very seriously.
4 Vibrato Valtat – Fell in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival in March and was soundly beaten behind God’s Own over C&D at the Grand National meeting the following month but was a convincing winner of the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup last November and is handicapped to be competitive here if back on song after his summer break.
5 Three Musketeers – 1-4 during first campaign over fences, the win gained in Grade 2 company at Newbury (2m4f, soft) 11 month ago; signed off with creditable fourth in the Grade 1 JLT at the Cheltenham festival (2m4f, good) in March and there’s every chance he can develop into a leading chaser this season.
6 Royal Regatta – Eased-down winner of a graduation chase in first-time blinkers at Ascot (2m5f, good to soft) in December and also ran with credit over that C&D on both subsequent outings, finishing second in a valuable handicap and third in the Grade 1 Ascot chase; current handicap mark is workable and he could be the answer.
7 Third Intention – Failed to win last season but is a remarkably versatile chaser who was placed over the big fences here (2m5f, soft) in April; currently rated 10lb lower than he was at this time last year and has a good record when fresh; dangerous to ignore.
myracing Forecast Prices: 3/1 Three Musketeers, 7/2 God’s Own, 4/1 Vibrato Valtat, 6/1 Royal Regatta, Third Intention, 10/1 Smad Place, Sire De Grugy