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.
- 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!