Aintree 2015: Crabbie’s Foxhunters’ Chase preview (16:05)
Irish raider Last Time D’albain has form over the Grand National fences and looks decent value to land the Crabbie’s Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree (16:05).
This gelding is trained by Liam Cusack, who rode Ebony Jane to finish fourth in the 1994 running of the Grand National, and finished a cracking third of 29 to Trio D’alene in the Topham Chase over course and distance in 2013.
The 11-year-old stayed on well to be beaten just 5 3/4 lengths by the subsequent Hennessy Gold Cup winner, to whom he was conceding 5lb.
That form reads very well in the context of this contest, and Last Time D’albain comes into it on the back of an easy success at Fairyhouse in February.
Sent off a well-backed 9/4 favourite on his first start for 257 days, Last Time D’albain came from off the pace under a confident ride to easily beat Carsonstown Boy by 3 1/2 lengths.
The runner-up went on to finish a fine fourth to On The Fringe in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival to give the form a boost, and Last Time D’albain is entitled to come on for the run.
The son of Sassanian has clearly been trained with this race in mind, and the fact that Last Time D’albain has experience over the unique fences is a major plus. There are plenty of dangers, and the aforementioned On The Fringe commands plenty of respect.
The Enda Bolger trained gelding is an ultra-consistent sort, who posted a career-best performance to run out the easy 17 length of the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham last month.
The 10-year-old was given an cool ride by Nina Carberry, who is once again in the saddle.
Carberry is one of the best amateur’s in the business, and On The Fringe looks certain to go close if taking to the National fences at the first time of asking.
Last year’s winner Warne is back to defend his crown and looks sure to go well in the hands of Sam Whaley-Cohen.
The 11-year-old jumped for fun when making all to beat Tartan Snow 12 months ago, and bids to become the first since Katarino in 2006 to land back-to-back runnings of this 2m 6f contest.
After finishing third to On The Fringe at Punhestown, Warne warmed up for this with a win in a point-to-point at Kirkistown and has clearly been primed to run a huge race by trainer Brian Hamilton.