herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Two and a half miles around the Mildmay course at Aintree should be perfect for Champagne Fever in the Betfred Melling Chase.

Two and a half miles around the Mildmay course at Aintree should be perfect for Champagne Fever in the Betfred Melling Chase.

Willie Mullins was disappointed that he was prevented from running his grey in the Queen Mother at Cheltenham, especially given the reason why.

The dual Cheltenham Festival winner was bitten on the lip by a stablemate in transit over to England and it was felt he was in too much discomfort to run. But as the general consensus is that Champagne Fever is at his very best when fresh, and he had won the Red Mills Chase barely three weeks before Cheltenham, it surely enhances his chance in this.

Theatre Guide has been given a chance by the handicapper and looks sure to go well in the Crabbie's Topham Chase over the famous Grand National fences.

Colin Tizzard's eight-year-old finished third in the Hennessy two seasons ago but has been fairly lightly raced since due to one reason or another. At the Cheltenham Festival, over three miles, he jumped and travelled beautifully before seemingly not getting home behind The Druids Nephew so the drop in trip should be in his favour.

Crucially, the handicapper dropped him 5lb for that run to a mark of 142 and given he was placed in the Hennessy off 145 he has to go close if the ability remains intact.

Neil Mulholland will be getting twitchy as aforementioned The Druids Nephew is one of the favourites for the big one on Saturday but it is a measure of how far he has come as a trainer that he also holds serious claims of winning the Betfred Mildmay Novices' Chase.

Carole's Destrier is a strong stayer with a turn of foot, which he displayed when winning at Ascot, and while his most recent assignment at Wetherby was straightforward, he jumped like a top-class prospect.

Mulholland said after that race he looked a bit "tubby" so expect even more improvement.

Alpha Des Obeaux should give Mouse Morris something to cheer about in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News