Bennys Mist out to score again over the Grand National fences
Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase | 2m5f | CH4/RUK
The Venetia Williams-trained Bennys Mist will be attempting to win this valuable prize for the second year running and he will again be opposed by the runner-up 12 months ago in the shape of Seventh Sky. The pair meet with Charlie Mann's contender on 4lb better terms.
Age does matter
Statistics over the last ten years show that the race greatly favours eight and nine-year-olds as they have proved successful on nine occasions. That brings in the likes of Seventh Sky, Henryville, Witness In Court, Seefood and Troika Steppes.
The price is right
Favourite backers have endured a lean time in the race as only one market leader, the ten-year-old Little Josh, has obliged in the past decade. He was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who is represented by recent Cheltenham winner Astracad on this occasion.
What they say
Donald McCain, trainer of Witness In Court and Federici
Aintree has not been the luckiest for Witness In Court as he has been there five times and unseated his rider on three of those occasions. But if he gets it together he could run well as he is in good form and the drier ground will help as well. We have not had Federici very long and it's early days as we are still getting to know him. He had solid form in Ireland so we are hopeful of a big run.
Rebecca Curtis, trainer of Vintage Vinnie
He pulled up on the undulations and the rain softened ground at Cheltenham last time. But this flat track and good ground should suit him a lot better and he has his chance.
David Pipe, trainer of La Vaticane
She was a bit unlucky at Market Rasen last time when she took a hefty bump at a critical stage. She would have preferred softer ground but jumped round the National fences in the Topham last season and that should be a help.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of As De Mee
He ran well at Aintree last season, but was a bit disappointing at Cheltenham last time. He is capable of running tidily if he runs to his best.
Richard Newland, trainer of Seefood
He is in good form at home and we have waited for this race as some of his owners wanted to give him a try over the bigger fences. It's going to be a case of whether he takes to them or not but I think the good ground will be in his favour.
Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of Astracad
He was brilliant when winning on his first run back at Cheltenham and has been in very good form at home since. He is a good jumper and this looks the right race for him.
Fergal O'Brien, trainer of Troika Steppes
When he meets his fences right, he jumps really well so we are looking forward to giving him a spin over the big ones. If he takes to it there is no reason why he cannot go very well at the weights.