Aintree Saturday Preview - 10/11/2018

12:25 - Minella Awards

The opening race at Aintree - the Aintree Community Programme Novices' Chase, is a matchup between Robin Waters and Minella Awards, and we've sided with the latter - Minella Awards.

He was a useful handicap hurdler; with an RPR of 157, but has yet to convert that over the larger obstacles. Was a distant third to Drinks Interval at Chepstow last time, where the form was almost boosted yesterday, had Drinks Interval not fallen 3 out at Market Rasen, with the race at his mercy.

Should do better here, against a rival who has been off since March.

13:00 - Quoi De Neuf

Next up, is the EBF Stallions National Hunt Novices Hurdle, and Quoi De Neuf - try pronounce if you can, can follow up his Irish point back in April by scoring here.

Was sold for 180,000euros four days after that victory, and looks an interesting prospect for Evan Williams. Leighton Aspell rides.

13:35 - Regal Encore

The third race is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) over 3m, and Regal Encore, who won the Swinley Chase at Ascot back in February, can get Anthony Honeyball off the mark for the new season.

He was pulled up in the Gold Cup Chase at Sandown in April, proving a hard season had eventually taken its toll. He usually produces his better form when he goes fresh, including an outstanding third in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last December at massive odds.

Looks to be the leading light for owner JP McNamus, who saddles half of the eight runner field.

14:10 - Vision des Flos

Colin Tizzard has kept Vision Des Flos over hurdles, and enters him in the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre Hurdle for his seasonal reappearance.

He was a leading novice hurdler last season, finishing under ten lengths behind Samcro in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. Two close efforts here at Aintree, and at Punchestown after that and certainly capable of better.

Unseated rider on seasonal reappearance at Ffos Las, but was sent off a short price favourite. Will be well fancied here.

14:40 - Mercian Prince

Amy Murphy - who saddles Arkle favourite Kalashnikov at Warwick on Friday, will be represented by the same connections in the Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase by Mercian Prince.

Off the track since finishing fifth in a Listed race at Ayr at the back end of April, he has won five of his fifteen outings over fences. Bar one or two, he has always run respectfully, and has strong each way claims here.

15:20 - Mcgroarty

Mcgroarty - who fell 2 out in a two-runner race at Ludlow last month, can redeem his backers in the Racing UK Handicap Chase.

That contest - won by Amour De Nuit, would of completed a hat-trick of wins, but he still certainly looks a horse on the up. Dr Richard Newland is in stunning form; currently with a 33% strike rate in the last fortnight, and hopefully Mcgroarty he can put it right here.

15:55 - Sojourn

The card closes with the Becher Meeting 8th December Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, and Sojourn, who has been absent for exactly 12 months to this day, can get off the mark at only the second time of asking.

The only 5yo in the field had his only run at Newbury, and that looked an encouraging debut. Since his time off, the form has been significantly boosted and that is sure to play a part here.

Aiden Coleman aboard.

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