14.05 Aintree: Trifolium ticks all the right boxes
A small but select field for the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase , and it looks a match on paper between Balder Success and Trifolium.
Preference is for the latter who has some very strong form to his name and is proven at the level.
Trained in Ireland by Charles Byrnes, the seven-year-old was a top class hurdler who finished a close up third behind Cinders And Ashes in the 2012 running of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
He has looked the real deal since being sent chasing this season, winning two of his five starts.
The gelding was most impressive in the last of those in the Grade 1 Arkle Chase at Leopardstown, where he jumped impeccably throughout and after leading three from home drew clear to beat Felix Yonger by nine lengths.
It was a very taking performance, and he was then far from disgraced last time out when finishing a 4 1/4 length third to Western Warhorse in the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He again jumped well that day on the heels of the leaders, and had every chance two from home before being unable to find any extra on the stiff uphill run-in.
The return to a flatter track will suit, and his form is the strongest of anything in the line-up.
Connections of Balder Success decided to swerve the Arkle to keep him fresh for this race, and he looks capable of serving it up to Trifolium.
Alan King’s six-year-old comes into the contest after back-to-back successes at Warwick and Kempton, and jumped superbly at the latter track when beating God’s Own by 1 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase.
He dug deep and found plenty that day, and having looked a weak finisher last season now looks to have strengthened up both mentally and physically.
The one worry is that he was well beaten in his previous try in Grade 1 company over fences, but this track should play to his strengths and he is clearly on an upward curve.