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15:30 Aintree

Good To Soft

Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £140325
  • 2m 3f 200y
  • Class 1
  • 7 runners
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Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

Runners: 7 runners

Type: Chase Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Light rain

2/1 (Won)

  • Win: £5.00
  • Place: £2.60

Form: P-1112 D

Last run: 55 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 162

Form & Verdict

Pulled up at this meeting last year on sole run here; however, he had a wind op subsequently and won his first three starts this season (2m4f/2m5f, good/soft), including a Grade 2 defeat of Millers Bank, before bumping into a rejuvenated Shishkin when second in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase (2m5f, good to soft); 7l ahead of Fakir D'Oudairies last time and is a leading player.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Pic DOrhy

11st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Rock-solid chaser at about 2m4f and has form figures of 11121121 since the start of last season, most recently making all in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase (good to soft; unchallenged); ran on strongly to land this contest (on soft ground) last year, depriving Fakir D'oudairies of a third straight Melling success, and commands respect back here.

7/2

1st

3

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 8y

Class 1

15:36 Ascot

Pic DOrhy

11st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Reliable over fences; runner-up to Shishkin in this race (good to soft) 12 months ago and was left with little to beat when the same horse refused to race here in November; at least as good as ever when second to the classy Banbridge in another Grade 2 at Kempton five weeks ago; solid candidate.

15/8

2nd

3

13th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 110y

Class 1

14:07 Kempton

Pic DOrhy

11st 8lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Straightforward task in similar event at Ascot (2m5f, good) seven weeks ago, having been left with little to beat when Shishkin refused to race; may need to work harder in this field but still commands major respect, being 2-2 at Kempton including a success in this race 12 months ago (soft); 8-16 overall as a chaser and has won five of his last six appearances.

11/4

OUR TIP

Form: 1-5213 CD BF

Last run: 55 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 163

Form & Verdict

Fortunate to win Grade 2 at Thurles in January when left in the lead at the final fence; below-par third in Grade 1 Ascot Chase last time, 7l behind runner-up Pic D'Orhy in a race he won last year (on soft); however, he's been an impressive winner of the last two runnings of this race (good to soft) and perhaps first-time cheekpieces will give him a boost.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

10th

1

4th Feb 2024

Yielding To Soft

2m 5f 107y

15:20 Leopardstown

Fakir Doudairies

11st 12lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Multiple Grade 1 winner over fences; not at his best last season and began this season by finishing fifth in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham, his first handicap chase; down to a good mark if he could find his best but looks best watched for now.

25/1

5th

1

16th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

13:50 Cheltenham

Fakir Doudairies

12st 0lb

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Runner-up in two Grade 1 chases at the Festival here but not seen at this track since 2021 (ran at Aintree in April last two seasons); has run in only Grade 1 and Grade 2 events for the last four years and this is his first ever handicap, with an each-way chance at the weights and trip/ground to suit; he can also go well after a break.

8/1

2nd

1

14th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Fakir Doudairies

11st 10lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Fortunate to win Grade 2 at Thurles in January when left in the lead at the final fence; below-par third in Grade 1 Ascot Chase last time, 7l behind runner-up Pic D'Orhy in a race he won last year (on soft); however, he's been an impressive winner of the last two runnings of this race (good to soft) and perhaps first-time cheekpieces will give him a boost.

9/4

Form: 2-4311 D

Last run: 56 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 154

Form & Verdict

Won Grade 2 novice chase at Haydock last term and better than ever when making all in handicaps at Musselburgh (2m4f, soft) and Kelso (2m5f, good) the last twice; runner-up in Grade 1 Mersey Novices' Hurdle in April 2021 on sole run here but probably vulnerable now back up in grade.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Minella Drama

11st 10lb

J: Brian Hughes

T: Donald McCain

Creditable third in this race 12 months ago but isn't sure to repeat the effort in this stronger renewal; possibly flattered when second in the Old Roan here on reappearance (numerous fences were omitted) and not in the same form since; bottom on ratings.

50/1

2nd

5

2nd Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 96y

Class 1

15:25 Kelso

Minella Drama

11st 2lb

J: Brian Hughes

T: Donald McCain

took keen hold, prominent, led before 6th

9/1

7th

1

26th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 2

13:40 Aintree

Minella Drama

12st 0lb

J: Brian Hughes

T: Donald McCain

led, not fluent 3rd

11/4

Form: 312524 D

Last run: 29 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 156

Form & Verdict

Alongside Fakir D'Oudairies (from whom he was receiving 6lb) when making bad mistake at final fence in Grade 2 at Thurles (2m4f, yielding) in January; another good run when fourth in the Ryanair at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft) last month; might not be far away but may again find a few too good.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

5

21st Jan 2024

Yielding

2m 4f 35y

13:35 Thurles

French Dynamite

11st 3lb

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

T: M F Morris

raced in second, not fluent 2nd, mistake and joined 7th, lost second and weakening when mistake 3 out, tailed off after 2 out

12/1

3rd

8

30th Nov 2023

Yielding

2m 6f 0y

12:40 Thurles

French Dynamite

11st 0lb

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

T: M F Morris

Won over hurdles on first run last season before finishing second in Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham; no chase success since March 2022 but good efforts in defeat last season behind Fakir D'Oudairies here and when fourth in the Ryanair; not at best at Aintree on final start; could be hard to beat if the ground does not deteriorate.

7/2

Form: 8-2122 D

Last run: 29 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 153

Form & Verdict

Second-season chaser who has thrived in handicaps this term, winning at Chepstow (2m3f, soft) in December before two fine seconds in hot races at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft), most recently at the Festival last month; also effective on good/good to soft; however, further improvement is needed now up in grade.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:30 Aintree

Fugitif

12st 0lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

His last-gasp win over Cheltenham's stiff, extended 2m4f in December (soft) provides some hope he'll see out this trip, and he's back in a handicap after being pulled up in Grade 1 Ryanair at Cheltenham last month; however, it remains to be seen if he stays and he's never shone at Aintree previously.

16/1

7

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Fugitif

11st 10lb

J: Sean Bowen

T: Richard Hobson

Seems to handle any ground; ran respectably in 2m Grade 1 contest here last time, taking Cheltenham record to 222413; has very useful handicap form over C&D, including a second-place finish in the Plate on this card last year and success (came off good pace to nose ahead final strides) in the December Gold Cup; likely to perform well, granted a strongly run scenario.

20/1

3

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 62y

Class 1

14:25 Cheltenham

Fugitif

11st 10lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

Has a consistent record in handicaps at Cheltenham, mainly over 2m4f; the cards dropped perfectly in the December Gold Cup (soft) most recently, coming off a good pace to nose ahead in the final strides; has plenty of ability but doesn't appear to be crying out for the return to 2m, and this race isn't sure to pan out so favourably.

14/1

Form: -21P23 D

Last run: 29 days

W: 11st 10lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 159

Form & Verdict

Sole win from his last ten starts came when odds-on in a graduation chase at Haydock last November; however, he's run several big races in defeat in Graded contests in that time, including when second to Fakir D'Oudairies in this last year (good to soft) and when third in last month's Ryanair (2m4f, soft) in first-time cheekpieces (retained); might be in the shake-up.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

8th

9

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Hitman

11st 10lb

J: Bryony Frost

T: Paul Nicholls

Has a disappointing strike-rate for a horse of his ability but is capable of smart form, such as third-place finish in this contest last year; clear best effort since when second in Newbury Grade 2 last month, having travelled smoothly into contention then eventually got outstayed by Shishkin over 2m7f on heavy ground; that tees him up nicely for another crack at the Ryanair.

25/1

2nd

4

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 1

14:05 Newbury

Hitman

11st 2lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

in touch with leaders, good jump and went third 5 out, went second going easily just after 3 out, no extra from last, just held second

12/1

9th

1

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

13:15 Cheltenham

Hitman

12st 0lb

J: Freddie Gingell

T: Paul Nicholls

in touch with leaders, not fluent 2nd, mistake 3 out

15/2

Form: 5U2265 CD

Last run: 55 days

W: 11st 10lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 153

Form & Verdict

Well beaten in the King George and Ascot Chase the last twice; however, running well earlier in the season and his record in Grade 1s at this meeting very much catches the eye, with a third in the 2021 Aintree Hurdle (2m4f, good to soft) and a 10l win in last season's Manifesto Novices' Chase (2m4f, good to soft); also effective on good/soft; interesting now back here.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

1

16th Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 110y

Class 2

14:45 Kempton

Millers Bank

12st 0lb

J: Kielan Woods

T: Alex Hales

Well-held last of three runners over hurdles on sole outing this term; had wind surgery (his fourth) since; very useful chaser on his day and bagged Grade 1 honours over 2m4f at Aintree (as a novice) two years ago; possibilities off this mark, provided he's back on song.

9/1

3rd

2

11th Nov 2023

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 2

15:20 Aintree

Millers Bank

11st 2lb

J: Kielan Woods

T: Alex Hales

Highly tried and lost his way over fences last season after two good seconds over this trip before Christmas; now reverts to hurdling and he's certainly interesting on his third in the 2021 Aintree Hurdle, while a 10l win in the 2022 Manifesto Novices' Chase (again 2m4f, good to soft) underlines his liking for this course; carries risks but not ruled out by any means.

100/30

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Payout
Exacta £94.00
Straight Forecast £115.10
Trifecta £1277.00

Selections

TOPSPEED:

Hitman

The Times:

Millers Bank

POSTDATA:

Hitman

WEST COUNTRY:

Hitman

Telegraph:

Hitman

The Star:

Millers Bank