Aintree aces: six horses to put in your tracker from the Grand National meeting
After a thrilling three days at Aintree's Grand National meeting, our team of top reporters pick out some horses to follow. . .
Third, Red Rum Handicap Chase, Thursday
Dostal Phil came from way off the pace to finish a good third to all-the-way winner Editeur Du Gite in the Red Rum Chase and remains a handicap chaser with plenty of potential.
That was only his fourth start over fences and first outside novice company, and he should continue to improve as he gains more experience.
Unlikely to be unduly penalised by the handicapper, he could be a potential Grand Annual candidate next season.
Winner, Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle, Friday
Picking out a Grade 1 winner may not look the most under the radar choice, but among all the big names hitting the target over the three days, it would be easy to dismiss Ahoy Senor's 66-1 defeat of Bravemansgame as a result with an end-of-term air to it.
Quotes of 33-1 for the novice chases at next year's Cheltenham Festival underrate the potential this horse has, having gone from a Kimble point-to-point winner to Aintree hero in less than six months.
Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore believe he is as good a staying novice as they've had and, given they trained Brindisi Breeze, that statement should be taken seriously. It will be fascinating to see at what point he comes south to test his mettle next season but he could be a real flagbearer for Scotland and the northern circuit.
Do Your Job
Second, Betway Top Novices' Hurdle, Friday
Michael Scudamore stated that Do Your Job was his best novice this season following his hurdles debut victory at Ffos Las in October, and that bullish comment was well-founded after a career-best effort from the seven-year-old in Friday's Grade 1.
While he has won only once since, Do Your Job has put up two mighty efforts in the spring, finishing second to impressive Mersey Novices' Hurdle winner My Drogo in a Grade 2 at Kelso before filling the same spot when staying on to be beaten a length and a quarter by Belfast Banter.
He still has plenty of frame to fill out and looks tailor-made to be a strapping chaser over longer distances. It would be a shock should he not excel over fences next season.
Fourth, Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, Friday
This strapping six-year-old had performed with credit in Newbury's Betfair Hurdle and finished with a flourish over 2m4f at Aintree.
An exciting prospect for chasing in the autumn, he is built for fences.
If he matures for a summer break and learns to settle, which has always been his problem, then it is hard to think we've seen the best of this imposing gelding, who has won on good and soft ground.
Sixth, Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, Friday
This talented seven-year-old ran a race full of promise on his handicap hurdle debut when sixth.
Trained by Neil Mulholland, he pulled hard early in a stop-start gallop but ranged up to challenge in the home straight and looked the likeliest winner two out.
A blunder at the second-last probably proved crucial, but there was lots to like about the run and he should prove a smashing novice chaser next season.
Second, Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle, Friday
Philip Hobbs had a great Aintree and was unlucky not to win with Camprond, who went down fighting by half-a-length. He will get a hike from the handicapper for this strong performance but is clearly improving.
This was only Camprond's fourth run of the season and first in a handicap, so he could possibly run again this term.
He is not the biggest, so it could be that connections continue to look at big handicap hurdles for him next season.
Interestingly, his half-brother won a Grade 3 chase on heavy ground so he could be far better on a softer surface.
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