Friday is Liverpool Ladies' Day. The star attraction, arguably, is the champion two mile chaser, Master Minded, in the Melling Chase at 3.10. He runs over two and a half here, but such was the authority of his victory at Cheltenham the starting price will be prohibitive; a race to savour.
The opener looks like a re-run of the Royal & SunAlliance three weeks ago. Battle Cry ran well at a big price on that occasion, finishing third behind Albertas Run. AR is likely to start favourite but Aintree may be more suited to BC's style of running. Big Buck's is a young horse with an engine but he isn't the most trustworthy at the obstacles. Many will fancy Roll Along to reverse Cheltenham form with AR but I'll be tempted to take a chance on Battle Cry provided the price offers value.
Souffleur and Tazbar apart, the protagonsits in the 2.35 met recently in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham. On that occasion Nenuphar Collonges came out on top but The Tother One, ridden by Sam Thomas, appeared to throw the race away by wandering violently left then right between the last two flights. It was hardly Sam Thomas' most illustrious moment but, full credit to the man, he went out thirty minutes later to win the Gold Cup on Denman. That said, it's not surprising to see Ruby Walsh back on board here. I fancied Gone To Lunch for the Cheltenham event but he ran a strangely subdued race before staying on to finish fifth. Tazbar and Souffleur come to this fresh. Tazbar is very highly regarded and beat Souffleur easily at Haydock in February, but the Peter Bowen stable was under a cloud at the time. All things considered, I'll support The Tother One with Ruby in the plate.