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Aintree 2015: Betfred Handicap Chase preview (15:25)

Wonderful Charm can take advantage of a drop in class to defy top-weight, and land the Betfred Handicap Chase at Aintree (15:25).

Trained by Paul Nicholls, this gelding is a four-time winner over fences, and has some very smart form to his name.

The seven-year-old finished a decent fifth to Taquin Du Seuil in the Grade 1 JLT Novice’s Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, and was then far from disgraced when third to Holywell in a Grade 1 affair at this meeting.

Wonderful Charm has since been highly tried in four starts this season, but shaped really well in the first two of those.

After finishing runner-up to the very smart Don Cossack on his reappearance at Down Royal, Wonderful Charm ran a cracker to finish a 1 3/4 length third to Wishful Thinking in the Grade 1 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.

That is very strong form and, although the son of Poliglote has been well beaten in two subsequent starts, they have been in the King George and the Ryanair Chase which are both top-class Grade 1 contests.

Wonderful Charm now runs in handicap company for the first time in his career, and the huge drop in class gives him an outstanding chance of getting back on the winning trail.

Buywise is a big player based on his fourth in a competitive handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, but the eight-year-old is a poor jumper and often flatters to deceive.

I am happy to take him on, and Wonderful Charm’s former stable companion Edgardo Sol may well prove the biggest danger to the selection.

Theis gelding had some very smart form to his name when trained by Paul Nicholls and was rated as high as 157.

Now in the care of Emma Lavelle, the eight-year-old is able to race off 147 having shaped well in three runs prior to disappointing last time out at the Cheltenham Festival.

Edgardo Sol ran well first time up in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at this track when keeping on to finish a 12-length runner-up to Wishful Thinking of a rating of 150, and off 3lb lower would have a big chance on that effort if bouncing back to anything like his best.