Grand National Festival: Band Of Blood weighted to go well in 3m Handicap Chase
David Metcalf | April 8, 2016
Band Of Blood just what the doctor ordered
Band Of Blood looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and decent value to land the 3m handicap chase on the final day of the Grand National Festival at Aintree (16:20).
The gelding had some useful form to his name when trained in Ireland by Mouse Morris, including when fourth to the classy Valseur Lido in a Grade 1 contest at Fairyhouse.
Band Of Blood also ran a cracker at the same venue when fourth off 28 to Thunder And Roses in last year’s Irish Grand National off a rating of 133, and is now able to race off a career-low chase mark of 131.
Promising efforts for new handler
That gives the eight-year-old a big shout at the weights, and he comes into the contest on the back of two promising efforts since joining trainer Dr Richard Newland.
In the first of those, Band Of Blood stuck to the task well to finish third to The Last Samuri at Doncaster.
He was then far from disgraced when eight of 23 to Un Temps Pour Tout in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and, judged on those efforts, Band Of Blood looks a big player off a bottom weight of 10st.
In-form Mystifiable feared
Mystifiable comes in the race at the top of his game and looks sure to make his presence felt. The Fergal O’Brien trained eight-year-old has won three of his four starts this season, and was ultra impressive in the last of those when scoring unextended by seven lengths at Newbury.
Not surprisingly, the handicapper didn’t take kindly to that facile success and has hit Mystifiable with a 14lb rise in the weights.
However, the gelding is clearly thriving and a revised rating of 134 may not be beyond him. Other pluses are that Mystifiable is versatile as regards ground and hails from a yard that has enjoyed a terrific season so far.
Read plenty more Grand National Festival tips and previews over on our Aintree page.
Coral’s top tip: Band Of Blood looks decent value to land the spoils for Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland. The in-form Mystifiable rates a big danger.