In 2006 Kauto Star landed Aintree’s Old Roan Chase on the way to winning his first of six King George Chases. The popular Alberta’s Run also started his season off with victory here prior to Cheltenham festival glory in 2011. Aintree’s opening day of the National Hunt season has a rich history of producing high quality winners and today’s feature appears like it will take high rank amongst recent renewals.
Second in the Old Roan Chase last season was this years top weight Gods Own. Tom George’s star goes well fresh and is highly likely to run a cracker once again. Cloudy Dream (9/2) has had seven starts over fences putting in a career best effort when finishing second to the mighty Altior in last year’s Arkle. Favourite for this race since the entries came out, he carries 10 13Ibs which seems a tolerable weight. Still unexposed over longer distances, victory here will surely catapult him up the ladder in plenty of Ante-Post markets. Gold Cup winner Sizing John’s chasing career only took off following finishing second to Douvan in the Arkle Chase of 2016. Who’s to say Cloudy Dream can’t follow suit?
The Plunge Horse !
Neil Mulholland has been searching for a graded chaser to fill the boots of Midngut Chase for almost six years. The Young Master and The Druids Nephew both represented the Mulholland stable well over the past couple of seasons but come 5 O’Clock this evening Shantou Village (7/2) may have established himself as number one flag bearer for the yard.Heading the ante post market for the 2016 Albert Bartlett Novices hurdle at Cheltenham, Shantou Village drifted significantly and wasn’t given a hard time of it on the day. Trainer Mulholland campaigned the 7-yo son of Shantou lightly over fences in the first part of last season. After putting a sequence of wins together, Shantou Village won on his handicap debut off a mark of 145 in the Spring. Subject of a market plunge, suspect the progressive Shantou Village to be well treated off his current mark. Skies could still be the limit.
Shantou Village – 7/2 (Paddy Powers) 15:00 – 2 pt ew
By Barry Doyle – 29/10/2017