14.50 Aintree: At Fishers Cross the class act
At Fishers Cross has come right back to his best in his last two starts and this looks a great opportunity for him to get back to winning ways.
The Rebecca Curtis trained gelding was a top clas staying novice last season, winning the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before following up in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at this meeting.
The seven-year-old ran well below par in his first two starts of this campaign, but then put those efforts behgind him when beaten just a short-head in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He then built on that run when a solid third of 10 to More Of That in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, keeping on well to be beaten 6 1/2 lengths.
The son of Azamour had Zarkandar a further two lengths behind in fourth, and there is no reason why that one should turn the tables.
The same applies to Salubriuous who finished a well beaten ninth, and the biggest danger At Fishers Cross could well be the improving Whisper.
Nicky Henderson’s gelding has won five of his 10 starts over hurdles and posted a career-best effort last time otu when winning the ultra competitive Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old showed a terrific attitude to battle back up the run-in and beat Get Me Out Of Here by a short-head, and the extra four furlongs he now tackles in this 3m 1f contest may well bring about even more improvement.
He is officially rated just 3lb below At Fishers Cross, and given his progressive profile that suggests there is unlikely to be much between the pair.
However, At Fishers Cross is the horse with proven form at Grade 1 level and that could well be the deciding factor on this occasion.