14.30 Aintree: Dynaste can Bowl over his rivals
The Betfred Bowl is the feature race on the opening day, and Dynaste looks to hold outstanding claims of following up his impressive win at the Cheltenham Festival.
David Pipe’s charge put a poor run in the King George behind him when coming from off the pace to beat Hidden Cyclone going away by 2 1/4 lengths in the 2m 5f Ryanair Chase at Prestbury Park.
The eight-year-old was confidently ridden by Tom Scudamore, and after quickening to chase the leaders two from home flew the last before staying on strongly to power clear up the hill.
It was an effort which vindicated the high regard in which he has always been held, and this track should arguably suit him even better.
Indeed, he ran out the impressive six length winner of the Grade 2 John Smith’s Mildmay Novices Chase at last years’ meeting over the 3m 1f trip of this contest and there are also lots of other positives as far as his profile is concerned.
Eight-year-olds have a decent record in Betfred Bowl having triumphed in three of the last eight runnings, and the Pipe family also have a tremendous record in the race having saddled four winners in the last decade.
There is simply nothing not to like about him, and it’s going to take a big effort for one of his rivals to lower his colours.
The main two looking to do that are First Lieutenant and Silviniaco Conti.
The former is trained in Ireland by Mouse Morris and won last year’s contest in game style when beating Menorah by 3/4 of a length.
He was a late withdrawal from the Cheltenham Gold Cup having not eaten up, and that may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise as he goes into the race fresh.
The nine-year-old is a superb jumper who is well suited by the track, and with Barry Geraghty in the saddle for the first time looks sure to give it his best shot to regain his crown.
Silviniaco Conti finished a fine fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the stats suggests he has it all to do.
The King George winner was beaten just a 1 3/4 lengths at Prestbury Park, where he had a hard race and wandered under pressure on the run-in.
His trainer Paul Nicholls reports him to have come out of the race well, but he got turned over at even money in this race 12 months when finishing just third to First Lieutenant.
That run came after he had fell three from home in the Gold Cup when seemingly travelling strongly, and horses that have run in the Cheltenham showpiece have a diabolical record in this race.
Just one horse from the front three in the Gold Cup has won since 1997, and among those to get turned over include Denman and Kauto Star who were also trained by Nicholls.