15:30 Aintree, Friday
Live on ITV
1. Allmankind (Dan Skelton/ Harry Skelton)
High-class chaser who enhanced his excellent record over fences when tenaciously landing the Old Roan here in October. Put up a rare below-par display in a Huntingdon Grade 2 in December and seemingly wasn’t 100% over hurdles in February. Needs to bounce back.
2. Captain Guinness (Henry de Bromhead/ Rachael Blackmore)
Very smart chaser who got back to winning ways in the three-runner Grade 3 Newlands Chase over two miles at Naas in February, quickening to lead two out. Kept fresh since and likely he’s worth a crack at this longer trip returned to Grade 1 company.
3. Editeur du Gite (Gary Moore/ Joshua Moore)
Improving front-running chaser who arrives having acquitted himself well from a career-high mark when fourth in last month’s Grand Annual at Cheltenham. However, this demands further progress on these terms, stepping back up in trip.
4. Fakir d’Oudairies (Joseph O’Brien/ Mark Walsh)
Top-class Irish chaser who had no Allaho in opposition when running out a ready winner of this race 12 months ago. Has looked as good as ever this campaign, landing the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February, and he rates the one to beat again.
5. Funambule Sivola (Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch)
Likeable front-runner who enhanced his form when landing the four-runner Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February, holding Sceau Royal by two lengths in receipt of 6 lb. Career-best effort when second in Champion Chase at Cheltenham subsequently and expected to be thereabouts again.
6. Hitman (Paul Nicholls/ Bryony Frost)
Very smart chaser who ran well when third in the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase here 12 months ago. Respectable efforts on all three starts in defeat this time around, albeit only third of four behind Funambule Sivola in Game Spirit last time. Others appeal more for win purposes.
7. Mister Fisher (Nicky Henderson/ James Bowen)
High-class chaser who regained winning ways in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in January. Deep ground possibly caught him out in the Ascot Chase in February but jumping does need to hold up if he’s to play a leading role.
8. Paint The Dream (Fergal O’Brien/ Connor Brace)
Eight-year-old who has improved further over fences this season, posting a career-best effort to land the Greatwood Gold Cup handicap early on last month. Clearly in rude health but even more needed if he’s to feature at this level.
9. Saint Calvados (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Runner-up in the Ryanair two years ago. Seen only four times since but ran a cracker to finish third in King George on yard debut in December. Found to have bled when pulled up in Ascot Chase last time but he’s not out of things if putting that behind him.
10. Sceau Royal (Alan King/ Daryl Jacob)
Very smart hurdler/chaser who arrives on the back of a good second to Funambule Sivola in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February, conceding 6 lb. Skipped Cheltenham subsequently and this highly admirable ten-year-old should not be dismissed lightly up in trip.