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Walkon, Walkon… with hope in your heart and this solid 7/2 at Aintree

Many horses make their seasonal jumps debut in the tricky Old Roan but our expert says Choc Thornton can return to form

by Matt Chapman | October 25, 2013

Flat fans will be excited about the Racing Post Trophy on Saturday, but jumps enthusiasts will be all over the meeting at Aintree, in which many eyes will be focussed on the Goals Galore Handicap Hurdle and the Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase. (I bet Paddy paid out plenty of cash on Monet’s over the years – brilliant!)

The Old Roan is a tough handicap with plenty of horses making their seasonal debut so fitness has to be taken very much on trust. However, it’s a big prize so certainly worth winning.

The one to smash into is WALKON, trained by Alan King and ridden by Robert – the choc – Thornton (pictured above). [Bet here: mobile | desktop]

  • Walkon has raced twice at Aintree in his life, landing the Grade 1 Matalan Novices’ Hurdle and finishing second in the Grade 3 Topham.
  • Having once been rated in the high 150s over hurdles, he’s well handicapped over fences off a mark of 151 and he has tactical speed to sit off a decent gallop.

Alan King’s yard has sent out plenty of winners in the last two weeks, and Thornton is keen to impress having only just recently come back from injury. He’s worth a solid wager.

The Hurdle at 1.55pm may well be at the mercy of KARINGA DANCER, who improved rapidly last season winning a bumper, maiden hurdle and handicap at Taunton off a mark of 128. He is on 135 now first time, but as long as he’s fit that mark would not have stopped him score in the last campaign. He can make a winning seasonal debut.

So that’s it ahead of the Breeders’ Cup for me – but before I hit the Americans with a ‘Yeeehaaa!’ or two, let’s crack on with a few quid off Paddy. Boom!

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