NAP Settimo Milanese 7/2 (B365) – Aintree 13:15 – 2pts win 2nd -2pts
Dr Richard Newland continues in fine form, posting eight winners from his last twenty runners, and looks to have a great chance of bagging another winner with his runner Settimo Milanese. The six-year-old has struck up a great partnership with in-form jockey Charlie Hammond, teaming up to win their last two runs in convincing fashion, beating a couple of decent yardsticks in Lively Article (a winner on hurdles debut) and Vinnie Lewis (who won next time out) at Southwell earlier in the month. Capable of further progression, he can notch the hat-trick here.
Bon Chic won this race last season and is only 3lbs higher this time around, although put in a disappointing run when last seen at Perth in September so the bigger danger looks to be Ready And Able who has previously won on return from a break and also arrives looking to make it three wins in a row, although needs to prove he stays this longer trip.
NB Beat That 5/2 (PP) – Aintree 13:50 – 2pts win 2nd -2pts
Beat That won his first two this season before coming up short at Chepstow a couple of weeks back when fourth behind the re-opposing Exitas. The result doesn’t tell the full story as he was just making his way in to contention when almost unseating his rider five from home and he benefits from a 7lbs swing in the weights for today’s race so should be able to reverse the form with Exitas and get back to winning ways.
Buywise represents an in-form stable but may prefer more cut in the ground while Double Ross is yet to make his presence felt in six prior runs at the course so the danger could come from Ballybroker Breeze who won over course and distance in the summer and has a decent record when fresh.
Haul Away 7/2 (B365) – Aintree 14:25 – 2pts win Lost -2pts
Haul Away took his winning streak to four when winning at Fontwell earlier in the month and although was hard at work to get his nose in front he lost momentum by hitting the second-last hurdle pretty hard and despite this was staying on strongly at the line so will appreciate the extra furlong he encounters here and should be capable of defying the 3lbs rise.
Henry Daly and Richard Johnson are both in great form and have an excellent strike rate when teaming up so Lygon Rock, who has made the frame in all five hurdles runs to date, looks a decent each-way alternative on return from a five month break and wind surgery.
The shortlist is completed by Byron Flyer who returns to jumps following a recent hat-trick of victories on the flat and although hasn’t been seen over obstacles since April 2017 he had won five from eleven over hurdles so wouldn’t be winning out of turn.
Cloudy Dream 3/1 (coral) – Aintree 15:00 – 2pts win 3rd -2pts
The recent stable form would have to be a concern but apart from that Cloudy Dream would look to have an excellent chance of going one better than when a close-up second to Smad Place in this race last season. He has been the model of consistency throughout his career, has an excellent record when fresh and has two wins and two placed efforts from five over similar trips to today.
In contrast, Paul Nicholls has his stable firing in the winners so Frodon, who also has a good record over the trip, looks to be the most likely challenger. This will be his first run since having a wind op and he will likely have bigger targets later on in the season but nevertheless could run a big race.
Others to consider include Javert who steps up in grade but has won every race over fences that he has completed, and Theo who has shown remarkable improvement and consistency since joining Dr Richard Newland last summer and arrives in his bid for a hat-trick of victories.
Lucky 15 – 1.5pts total win (B365 prices) -1.5pts
Settimo Milanese 7/2 – Aintree 13:15 2nd
Beat That 5/2 – Aintree 13:50 2nd
Haul Away 7/2 – Aintree 14:25 Lost
Cloudy Dream 5/2 – Aintree 15:00 3rd
Sunday Stats Runners
N Henderson 24% winning strike rate in the last 3 years over hurdles…
13:15 – Follow The Bear
14:25 – Haul Away
I Williams 21% winning strike rate & level stakes profit of +£26.50 in the last 3 years over hurdles…
13:15 – Sliding Doors
14:25 – Byron Flyer
P Nicholls 41% winning strike rate in the last 3 years over hurdles…
13:00 – Bubble O’Clock
13:35 – Stradivarius Davis
15:20 – Rhythm Is a Dancer
16:30 – Volpone Jelois
P Nicholls 29% winning strike rate in the last 3 years over fences…
14:10 – Darling Maltaix
14:45 – Ridgeway Flyer
O Sherwood 28% winning strike rate in the last 3 years over hurdles…
13:35 – Pontresina
15:55 – Cheeky Rascal
H De Bromhead 19% winning strike rate & level stakes profit of +£18.50 in the last 3 years over fences…
13:40 – Surf Instructor
C O’Dwyer 50% winning strike rate in the last 3 years over fences…
15:10 – Celebrity Status
28/10/18 PROFIT/LOSS: -9.5pts
OCTOBER PROFIT/LOSS: -52pts
SEPTEMBER PROFIT/LOSS: +12.25pts
AUGUST PROFIT/LOSS: -6.75pts
JULY PROFIT/LOSS: +8.5pts
JUNE PROFIT/LOSS: +49.15pts
HISTORIC & ROLLING RESULTS (all updated at the end of each month)
2018 PROFIT/LOSS: +123.41pts
2017 PROFIT/LOSS: +76.17pts
2016 PROFIT/LOSS: +237.55pts
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 2015: +735.09pts