“Flooring Porter should cement himself as the best staying hurdler in Britain and Ireland. This division has been complete chaos all season but my word, has it been an enjoyable ride.
“Finally, we had some form of clarity at Cheltenham where Flooring Porter defended his title to win his second Stayers’ Hurdle in impressive fashion. He is a far better horse when running at a lefthanded track and that’s despite ducking out to his left after his hurdles.”
“The eight-year-old Longhouse Poet (Aintree, 17:15) has shown plenty of stamina in his races and will hopefully have enough in reserve for this marathon distance. He has a neat jumping style that should suit these unique fences. He also travels well in his races and should be able to take up a handy position under his promising young jockey. He ticks plenty of boxes.”
“Race-readers have had a field day with Noble Yeats (Aintree, 17:15) this season, and the promise he showed when second to Ahoy Senor in the Towton at Wetherby in February was there for all to see.
“He didn’t receive an optimal ride there, shall we say, but he still finished in front of subsequent Scottish National fifth Ashtown Lad and next-time-out Uttoxeter winner Saint Palais and I thought he shaped well enough in the Ultima last month.”
“With regard to stamina, Snow Leopardess won over the National fences as recently as December but the distance of the race was over a mile shorter than the National. She led for the whole of the final circuit but that lead was whittled down to a nose at the line. How will she fare off a higher mark in a tougher race against horses with proven stamina?
“The only time she tried a marathon trip – three and three-quarter miles as a novice at last year’s Cheltenham Festival – she dropped out of contention after the second last. It’s not my task to come up with the winner but what I can say is that Snow Leopardess wouldn’t be on my shortlist..”
“Henri The Second (Aintree, 18:20) is a lovely prospect who hacked up on his racecourse debut at Chepstow and then made all the running in a Listed bumper at Ascot just before Christmas.
“Those were the same races won by Knappers Hill before he completed the hat-trick in this race a year ago. I’ve trained Henri with Aintree in mind, I’m expecting a good run and he looks to be my best chance of the day. But he is a fine, big horse and wouldn’t want the ground to get too quick.”