Grand National Festival: Starchitect ready to shine
David Metcalf | April 7, 2016
Starchitect ready to turn on the style
Starchitect has shaped really well in two starts this season and looks the answer to the Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle at Aintree (13.40).
The gelding had some useful form to his name last year when trained by Donald McCain, including when finishing a fine fourth of 22 to Qualando in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival.
Starchitect then fell on his final start of the campaign in a Grade 1 contest at this meeting, after which he moved to join David Pipe.
The eight-year-old has since posted two cracking efforts for the Pond House handler in ultra-competitive handicaps.
In the first of those at Newbury, Starchitect finished an excellent 11 length runner-up to Agrapart in the 22-runner Betfair Hurdle and the form of that race has worked out really well.
Cracking run in County Hurdle
The son of Sea The Stars backed that up with a solid fifth of 26 to Superb Story in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival where he stayed on strongly to be beaten just 6 1/2 lengths having encountering trouble in-running.
Those two races represent very strong form in the context of this contest, and Starchitect is a speedy sort who should be ideally suited by the track.
Ma Du Fou an interesting contender
There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open contest, and Ma Da Fou is one of the more interesting contenders.
The Warren Greatrex trained six-year-old has always been held in high regard and has won all three of his starts this season in the style of a smart prospect.
They include an impressive six length success over subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Agrapart at Ffos Las, and a cosy 1 1/4 length victory in a Listed novice contest at Huntingdon when last seen in action.
Judged on those performances an opening handicap mark of 141 should no be beyond Ma Du Fou, and the gelding remains lightly-raced after just six starts under rules and open to further improvement.
For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, check out our Aintree page.
Coral’s top tip: Starchitect has plenty going for him in a wide open contest, and looks worth a wager to land the spoils. Ma Du Fou is a progressive sort and looks sure to go well.