Very good run in defeat last year

Aintree 16:05: Pink Eyed Pedro 0.5pt e/w 20/1

Pink Eyed Pedro ran very well in defeat in this race last year off a 2lb higher mark and I think he has a good chance of running well again off a similar prep.

He got within 4½ lengths of Livelovelaugh last year and was eight lengths clear of Senior Citizen who he faces on 8lb better terms today.

He followed that up with a collection of good runs back over regulation fences, including when third in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen, before connections reached for the cheekpieces at Cartmel. He ran well again there and at Warwick in the cheekpieces before they were taken off at Ludlow and he ran badly which may have been a combination of the removal of the headgear, the three-mile trip and possibly having needed a break.

Pink Eyed Pedro was then off the track for 144 days before returning over hurdles at Hereford (last season the prep run came over hurdles at Newbury). He was still in touch and just being niggled along when he got in too close to 3 out and came down.

The cheekpieces were left off that day and they now go back on as connections look to sharpen him up on the big day.

His experience over the fences is a positive and a dry day will help his chance too as he would ideally want good ground.

It might be that he’s vulnerable to younger, less exposed types and it’s never ideal coming into a race on the back of a fall but I think he has a good chance of bouncing back today and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.

Could be suited to this test and hood comes off

Aintree 16:05: Colorado Doc 0.5pt e/w 50/1

David Brace’s other runner, Colorado Doc, is also of interest at a big price on his first try over these fences.

In his younger days he was a keen going front runner and showed a good level of ability in points and over hurdles. After an initial good start to his time over fences, he had a blip in late 2020/early 2021 when he first ran over too far at Newbury, fell at the first next time and then they tried holding him up at Sandown which didn’t work.

He wore a hood at times in points and that went back on following that run at Sandown and Colorado Doc has worn a hood for all nine runs since. He was unfortunate to run into the class dropping Fanion d’Estruval at Newbury and very well handicapped Iwilldoit at Chepstow when he ran much better than the 24-length defeat would suggest.

He hasn’t matched that form since but the trip was clearly too far in the Welsh National and he hung and jumped left last time over hurdles at Exeter. In between that, he ran respectably at Wincanton until not seeing out the trip.

I think this trip will be far more suitable for Colorado Doc and I’m hoping the removal of the hood lights up him as he may have become too switched off wearing it. Given the likely very strong pace, he should have no issue settling just in behind the pace if they wish to do that rather than making the running.

This is his first try over these fences so there’s an unknown over how he will take to them and it might be that he likes a small field but I can’t let him go unbacked at the price and any 40/1 or bigger appeals.

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