Aintree preview: Grand Sefton Chase (15.20)
David Metcalf | December 4, 2015
Double Ross has returned to form to post two solid efforts this season, so can gain a deserved big race success in the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree (15.20).
The Nigel Twiston trained gelding looked a promising staying chaser in the making when landing back-to-back competitive handicaps at Cheltenham in 2013/14, and also running a blinder to finish third to Taquin Du Seuil in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Festival.
Double Ross was also far from disgraced over the Grand National fences when fifth of 30 to Ma Filleule in the 2014 running of the Topham Chase over course and distance off a mark of 152, but failed to cut any ice in six starts last term.
However, the nine-year-old has quickly left those efforts behind, and after chasing home Pendra on his return to action at Ascot in October, ran a stormer to finish a 4 1/2 length fourth of 20 to Annacotty in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham when last seen in action.
Double Ross is able to race in this off an unchanged mark of 152, and with his proven form over the unique National fences a big plus the son of Double Eclipse looks weighted to take all the beating in the hands of promising 3lb claimer Ryan Hatch.
Poole Master and Rocky Creek could rumble Double Ross
Last year’s winner Poole Master looks sure to make a bold bid to retain his crown off just 2lb higher, but a bigger danger to Double Ross could be top weight Rocky Creek.
The Paul Nicholls trained gelding is a classy sort on his day and ran very well to finish fifth of 30 to Pineau Du Re in the 2014 running of the Grand National.
Rocky Creek was also far from disgraced on seasonal reappearance when runner-up to Don Cossack in a Grade 1 contest at Down Royal, and on the pick of his form looks nicely treated off a mark of 160.
The nine-year-old also nows gets fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time, and if the new headgear has the desired effect Rocky Creek looks sure to make his presence felt.
Coral’s top tip: Double Ross has looked right back to his best in two runs this season and looks well worth a wager to land the spoils. Rocky Creek rates the biggest danger