Quality entries for Thursday and Friday at Aintree

Filed on 7 Apr 2007 @ 16:31

Entries for the first two days of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13 (Ladies’ Day), at Aintree have been made and they could not be better.

Ryanair Chase principals reoppose in Melling Chase

The Grade One £200,000 John Smith’s Melling Chase (3.10pm) is the most valuable race on Friday and the two and a half mile event on the Mildmay Course has gained 13 top quality entries including four from Ireland (Fota Island, Hi Cloy, Mansony & Newmill) and one from France (Foreman).

The first, fourth and sixth in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last month, Taranis, Monet’s Garden and Hi Cloy, plus faller Crozan, are there, as well as Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase fourth Newmill and two fallers, Well Chief and Oneway, from the same race.

Andreas, winner of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham, plus Fair Along and Cerium, are the others who could line up.

39 go forward to Topham Chase over National fences

The £100,000 John Smith’s Topham Chase (3.45pm), over the Grand National fences, closed early this year and has become an open handicap. It sees a very healthy 39 going forward after today’s confirmation stage.

The Paul Nicholls-trained and Trevor Hemmings-owned Armaturk heads the weights on 11st 10lb from Our Ben, also owned by Hemmings but trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland, who has 11st 5lb.

Wichita Lineman heads Sefton field

The Grade One £95,000 Citroen C6 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (2.35pm), over an extended three miles, has Wichita Lineman, winner of the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, among its great 21 entries.

Exotic Dancer and Turpin Green in Betfair Bowl

Thursday’s feature, the £150,000 Betfair Bowl (2.35pm), was reopened yesterday and has nine entries led by the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup second and third, Exotic Dancer and Turpin Green.

The high-class Grade Two chase, run over three miles and one furlong of the Mildmay Course, has also attracted State Of Play, the 2006 Hennessy Gold Cup winner who was sixth in the Gold Cup, plus Paul Nicholls-trained duo of My Will, 12th in the Gold Cup, and Taranis, winner of the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Our Vic, second in the Ryanair Chase, Crozan, a faller in the same race, Irish hope Fota Island and recent dual winner Ice Crystal complete the potential field.

Liverpool Hurdle attracts a strong line up

There is also tremendous quality in the other features on the opening day, Thursday, April 12, as the Grade Two £70,000 John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle (2pm) has the first four in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham, Inglis Drever, Mighty Man, Blazing Bailey and United, plus faller Black Jack Ketchum and Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle third Afsoun.

4yo hurdle attracts Triumph winner

The Grade One £130,000 John Smith’s Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’s Hurdle (3.10pm) received 20 entries, including Katchit, winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle scorer Gaspara and unbeaten French challenger Grand Bleu.

35 in Foxhunter's

The John Smith’s Fox Hunter’s Chase(3.45pm), over the Grand National fences for amateur riders, looks a terrific race in prospect, with 35 entries so a maximum field of 30 is possible.

Entries for John Smith’s Grand National day will be revealed on Monday. The going at Aintree is Good (watering to maintain).

Filed on 7 Apr 2007 @ 16:31