Aintree 2015: Maghull Novices’ Chase preview (14:05)
With brilliant Arkle winner Un De Sceaux missing the Maghull Novices’ chase due to the drying ground at Aintree, the progressive Sizing Granite looks to have a big chance of landing the spoils in the 2m contest (14:05).
The Henry De Bromhead trained seven-year-old has won three out of his four completed starts over fences, showing progress form on each occassion.
This gelding gave 8lb and a six length beating to Dysios last time out at Leopardstown, jumping well and travelling strongly throughout to win with far more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
It was a performance which suggested Sizing Granite could have plenty more to offer and, athough this represents a big step up in class, the son of Milan is clearly on an upward curve and his handler does not go tilting at windmills.
God’s Own, who ran a stormer when runner-up to Un De Sceaux in the Arkle, is an obvious player and big danger if over those exertions.
Trained by Tom George, this gelding kept on well to be beaten six lengths after holding every chance between the last two fences, and that form sets the standard in this line-up.
The seven-year-old also had some very smart form to his name last year, inculding a success in a Grade 1 contest at the Punchestown Festival but, despite his superb run at Cheltenham, I am not convinced that God’s Own is at his best going left-handed.
Most of God’s Own’s best runs have come on anti-clockwise tracks, and for that reason – plus the fact that he had a hard race at the Festival – I am happy to take him on.
Court Minstrel finished three places and 13 lengths behind God’s Own in the Arkle, but will relish the the quicker ground and return to a flatter track.
The eight-year-old was a very smart hurdler, winning a valuable handicap at this meeting 12 months ago before finishing a fine second in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.
Trained by Evan Williams, this gelding won his first two starts over fences this season in good style, and has a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot when getting his ideal conditions.
He has them in this race, and I can see Court Minstrel running a huge race and turning the form around with God’s Own..