Countrywide Flame: Triumph Hurdle winner returns at AintreePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Triumph hero Flame faces old foes at Aintree
COUNTRYWIDE FLAME will get the chance to prove his JCB Triumph Hurdle victory was no fluke when reopposing the Cheltenham third,fourth and sixth at Aintree on Thursday.
The Triumph's shock 33-1 winner heads a 13-strong field for the £100,000 Matalan Anniversary Hurdle, in which rivals will include last month's Festival opponentsGrumeti, Dodging Bullets and Sadler's Risk.
Only five horses line up in Thursday's newest Grade 1 feature, the Betfred Manifesto Novices' Chase, in which Racing Post Arkle Trophy third and fourth, Menorah and Al Ferof, will not have to encounter the Arkle second Cue Card, who misses both the Manifesto and Friday's John Smith's Melling Chase.
Silver Adonis, winner of the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase in 2010, is out to land the contest again but has 25 horses - including My Way de Solzen, Roulez Cool and Gwanako - out to stop him.