Aintree preview: Becher Chase (13.40)
David Metcalf | December 4, 2015
Irish raider Thunder And Roses will relish the testing conditions at Aintree, and looks the answer to an ultra-competitive and wide-open renewal of the Becher Chase (13.40).
The Sandra Hughes trained gelding showed progressive form throughout last season and rounded off the campaign with a career-best performance to land the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on bottomless ground.
Thunder And Roses travelled well on the heels of the leaders and after being produced to lead at the last stayed on strongly to surge clear and beat Rule The World by 4 1/4 lengths off a mark of 136.
It was a most taking performance, and although now 11lb higher in the weights the seven-year-old remains unexpoed and open to further progression after just seven starts over the larger obstacles.
Thunder And Roses has also been targeted at this and comes into the race on the back of a pipe-opener over hurdles when a not knocked about fifth of 11 to Prince Of Scars.
That should have blow away the cobwebs and put the son of Presenting spot on and, with Bryan Cooper in the saddle, Thunder And Roses looks to have plenty in his favour if taking to the unique Grand National fences.
Algernon Pazham a danger for Twiston-Davies
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the race a record five times, most recently with Hello Bud in 2012, and his progressive six-year-old Algernon Pazham looks the main hope for the home team.
The gelding is an out-and-out stayer who finished a fine second at Bangor on seasonal reappearance off a mark of 135.
Algernon Pazham went down by a neck to What A Good Night, with the pair pulling 10 lengths clear of a 140-rated rival.
That gives the form a solid look and suggests that Algernon Pazham should be really competitive despite having been raised 7lb.
Connections have also put up promising 3lb claimer Ryan Hatch to partly offset the rise, and with underfoot conditions holding no fears Alergnon Pazham commands the utmost respect given the yards’ record in the race.
Coral’s top tip: Irish Grand National winner Thunder And Roses has plenty going for him, so looks decent value to win a wide-open renewal of the Grand Sefton. Algernon Pazham rates a big danger