Christy 1965 Chase Runner by Runner

1. Bellshill

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey -

Bellshill is already amongst the market principles for the Grand National at Aintree next April, having established himself as one of the leading stayers around, following his win in the Punchestown Gold Cup at the back end of last season.

He was also fourth (later disqualified fifth) in the Irish National a few weeks prior to his Grade 1 success, and begins his campaign with a warm-up here in the 1965 Chase.

This will brush away the cobwebs, before he tackles much longer distances and on worse ground conditions than this.

Top stayer, but better middle-distancers in this field. Would be no surprise if he was in the firing line however.

2. Min

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey -

Bellshill's stable companion and last year's Champion Chase runner-up Min, could begin his 7yo season here should he be declared.

Going down in defeat to Altior is no sin, but he could not quite overturn one of today's rivals Politologue - in the Melling Chase over further at Aintree.

He finished fourth in the Irish Champion Chase, but again no damage by being defeated by the classy pair of stable companions - Un De Sceaux and Douvan.

Needs to be winning these sorts of events if establishing himself as one of Mullins' best.

3. Politologue

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey -

Ahead on the ratings over market rival Min, after getting the better of him at Aintree in April, where both were stepping up to unknown trips.

Politologue's owner John Hales, has hinted to trainer Paul Nicholls, that he would like to see him over three miles, and a good performance here could set up a date with the King George in December.

A job to do here first, but this classy grey is a dual Grade 1 Winner, and will take all the beating.

4. Gold Present

Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Jockey -

Won a couple of nice races before disappointing in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival, when well fancied.

Was also pulled up in the Scottish National on his moment recent start, so much to prove on his seasonal return, against a classy field.

Best to watch this one.

5. Benatar

Trainer - Gary Moore

Jockey -

Well beaten on return at Newton Abbot last month, and has been waited with since.

Notched up a hat-trick of wins over fences last year, when winning a competitive three-runner race here, in the Grade 2 Mitie Noel Novices Chase last term.

Third in the JLT at Cheltenham, but has something to prove following his poor return.

If returning to his best, he will no doubt be a contender.

6. Cyrname

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey -

Top novice from last season, returned to finish a one-paced third in a Listed contest at Carlisle last month.

Form has been boosted by the winner, and Cyrname can build on that effort himself with a good result here.

Each way claims for sure.

7. Beggar's Wishes

Trainer - Peter Bowen

Jockey -

Two from two this term, winning at both Haydock and Newton Abbot, but combine that with his Market Rasen win earlier this year, and he is in fact unbeaten in his last three.

Beat Benatar by at least 12 lengths, and can surely go close once more.

Peter Bowen notched up 50 winners for the season on Tuesday, and can score once against here with a promising 7yo.

8. Charbel

Trainer - Kim Bailey

Jockey -

Could be a dark horse here; bounced on from his return run when third at Perth, by scoring at Chepstow last month.

The second in that race has since won the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham (Baron Alco), and that is a massive piece of form this early on in the season.

The two pulled well clear, and Charbel could be in the shadows of the punters here. Not to be ignored.

9. Hammersly Lake

Trainer - Charlie Longsdon

Jockey -

Charlie Longsdon loves his old boys, and Hammersly Lake - now a 10yo, returns to England following his international exploits.

He finished down the field in the Grade 1 American Grand National behind the Gordon Elliott-trained Jury Duty, but put a line through that, and he has some excellent form from the summer.

He has won a third of his races over fences (6-18), and holds strong each way claims here.


10. Kalondra

Trainer - Neil Mulholland

Jockey -

Was subject to a major gamble in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham last weekend (Was sent off favourite), but lost all chance when unseating Noel Fehily at the 12th fence.

He was travelling well until then, and did not get the opportunity to produce his challenge.

Needs to correct jumping errors having also fell on his seasonal reappearance, but if put right, will certainly be in the frame for at least a place.

11. Kylemore Lough

Trainer - Harry Fry

Jockey -

Unseated in a Listed Contest round Wetherby at the beginning of the month, and another who needs to put his mistakes right.

Third to Un De Sceaux in last year's Clarence House Chase is the pick of his form, but not too much else that attracts market support.

12. Sizing Granite

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey -

Last of six behind Sceau Royal in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, on Sunday just gone.

Only beat two home in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las in October, and another who is best off being ignored.

Struggling in this grade of late, and complete outsider of the field.

13. Three Musketeers

Trainer - Dan Skelton

Jockey -

Colours of Frank McAleavy, Three Musketeers finished seventh in a Handicap Hurdle at Aintree at the end of last month.

Looking back through his old form, there is not really much to go off. The jump up to Grade 2 company would worry you, and a career best is needed if any chance of getting involved.

14. Shattered Love

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

The only mare in the field is Shattered Love - who won the JLT Novices Chase at Cheltenham for Gigginstown in March.

Finished fifth in that crazy race at Punchestown, which saw Monalee and Invitation Only fall two out, before the madness at the last, where Al Boum Photo carried out Finians Oscar, so the form is not that reliable there.

However, she came back to finish second to Snow Falcon on her return, and ready to kick on now back to full fitness.

Every chance if good enough.