Twiston-Davies confident Angel can fly again in Aintree rematch
Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices' Chase (Grade 2) | 2m4½f | 5yo+ | ITV/RUK
The Aintree form book tells us that Flying Angel and Cloudy Dream were separated by a length, but that does not tell the full story.
Flying Angel took it up a long way out, pouring on the pace and exposing Cloudy Dream's position at the back of the field. He had to come four-wide around the bend and jumped the last half a length up before the rallying Flying Angel got back up to win. Both camps have justifiable reasons for thinking they will come out on top this time.
"I hope his chances are very good," said Flying Angel's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. "He beat Cloudy Dream at Liverpool and why wouldn't he do it again? Hopefully he will. The trip, track and ground should all suit."
Cloudy Dream's trainer Malcolm Jefferson is upbeat of his chances of reversing the form, provided his exertions when second at Cheltenham and Aintree do not take their toll.
"At home he's every bit as well as he's been all season," said Jefferson. "It's that time of the year when they can say that they have had enough, but he isn’t showing it at all. He has come back from Liverpool and we haven’t had to do too much with him. I'm very happy with him. He's in good order so I'm hoping for the best."
Paul Nicholls skipped the other spring festivals with Clan Des Obeaux, instead opting for an easy three-runner event at Exeter between the two meetings to put him spot on for this.
"He missed Cheltenham and Aintree, we gave him a prep at Exeter and we were always coming here with him – this has been the plan," said Nicholls.
"He ran well at Cheltenham on New Year's Day and then made a mistake and was only just beaten by Whisper, so that's good form. He disappointed at Sandown when a few of ours weren't running well so I'd put a line through that. He's a big immature horse who'll improve for a summer, but he'll run well tomorrow, he's in good shape and the ground will suit."
Nicholls' former assistant Dan Skelton also bypassed Cheltenham and Aintree with his runner Oldgrangewood. He is unbeaten in the three chase starts he has completed but has a disappointing run last time out to overcome.
"Everything was going well until his last run but we don't really know what happened the other day," said Skelton. "We thought we'd chuck him into a Grade 2 and, on his form this winter, he'd be competitive."