What looks like a fairly weak Grade 1 contest to kick start the Grand National Meeting is a perfectly good opportunity for some slightly smaller connections to land some decent prize money and write a Grade 1 contest to their name.
But in what is usual for this meeting, they will have to fend off a Paul Nicholls horse, a yard that have done so well at this meeting in previous years.
Pic D’Orhy has won three races this season, which include two Grade 2’s, The Howden Noel Novices Chase at Ascot in November of last year, where he won by 9 lengths, and the Grade 2 Pendil Novices Chase at Kempton in February by a length.
His jumping last time out at Kempton was superb, and although on paper the winning margin doesn’t look like he won well, but he really did win the race easily and put the contest to bed with a very good leap at the last, running on well to the line.
Conditions of Good to Soft currently listed at Aintree more than suit this horse, and he clearly has the best form on paper coming into the race, and really the only horse to win multiple Graded races over fences in his career.
He doesn’t usually put two good runs together however as his form suggests but he looks better than ever at present and should be winning a race of this nature, although it is a Grade 1 contest, it isn’t very strong at all compared to previous years.
Two-time Grade 2 winner this season at Ascot and Kempton, the conditions will more than suit and Aintree if a track that will play to his strengths. The only horse to win multiple Graded races over fences this season so he has the best form on paper, very much the one to beat in this for a trainer that does superb at this meeting.