Punting pointers as King's Odyssey aims to land big pot for Williams
Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase | 2m4f | 4yo+ | ITV4/RUK
Williams a king of Aintree
When assessing a valuable chase around Aintree you can do a lot worse than make Evan Williams your first port of call.
The Vale of Glamorgan trainer achieved the astounding feat of saddling horses to finish placed in five consecutive Grand Nationals between 2009 and 2013, and has not done badly in this £80,000 contest.
Having won the race last season with On Tour, who went one better than in the 2016 running, Williams is back for more with consistent chaser King's Odyssey.
The nine-year-old finished third in three valuable Cheltenham handicap chases last term, including at the festival, and it is surely only a matter of time before he lands a decent prize.
Kitchen looks a tasty proposition
Harry Fry and JP McManus could be set for a good day on Merseyside with Hell's Kitchen holding similarly strong claims to stablemate Unowhatimeanharry in the preceding hurdle race.
The exuberant chaser was pulled up on his last start at Leopardstown but prior to that he won on Kempton's King George card, beating subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Mister Whitaker, who is unbeaten in three starts since.
McManus has a second chance with the former Paul Nicholls-trained Bouvreuil making his debut for Ben Haslam.
Dan and Harry Skelton have combined to win four races at Aintree this season – three more than any other trainer and jockey – and join forces with Some Invitation. Skelton also sends out Captain Chaos, the mount of Bridget Andrews.
What they say
Paul Nicholls, trainer of Warriors Tale and Romain De Senam
Traditionally Warriors Tale always needs a run and he's en route to running in the Becher Chase at the next meeting over the big fences. Romain De Senam ran well enough on his first run back. He's slightly better left-handed and hopefully will run a tidy race.
Harry Fry, trainer of Hell's Kitchen
He needs to curb his enthusiasm early doors – I'd expect him to be a bit fresh and Barry [Geraghty] will no doubt have his hands full. The form of his win at Kempton on Boxing Day, when he had Mister Whitaker in behind, looks particularly strong, and hopefully he'll make into a nice second-season chaser.
Evan Williams, trainer of King's Odyssey
He's fresh and well after his break. He had a good season last term without winning, running solidly throughout in some big races. If he can get back to that type of form he's always going to be a danger in these races.
Philip Hobbs, trainer of War Sound
He hasn't won a chase yet, so it would be a good place to start. He's done plenty at home and is in very good form.
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