Just like Daryl Jacob, Paul Nicholls' stable jockey, I prefer Chepstow to Aintree for tomorrow's action.
Jacob rides Virak in the Silver Trophy at 4.10. The gelding could be anything and we don't have an awful lot to go on but he looks short enough in the market (one four-year-old winner in the past 10 years) against some battle-hardened handicappers. Last year's winner Lamb Or Cod races off a mark of 130, six pounds higher than last year, yet is still a 10/1 shot while Rebecca Curtis' Pechamenko,12/1 with Hills, appears to have had his problems over fences but was second in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las in February. A price of 10/1 about last year's winner is rather tempting - I'll take an each-way interest in Lamb Or Cod.
Sire De Grugy could struggle to give the weight away on the soft/heavy ground in the handicap chase at 4.45. Plenty will fancy Nicholls' Rebel Rebellion to take advantage but I'm going to risk Tom George's Kingmaker winner Majala priced at 7/2 this evening - the stable has had three winners during the week and boasts a 24.59% win strike-rate this season.
In the Persian War Novices' Hurdle (3.35) I note Ceasar Milan is owned by the Stewart and Wylie Families. Berkeley Baron has to give weight to all but has a run under his belt while Lienosus' second behind Clondaw Kaempfer reads well enough. Johnny Og has been on the radar for a while now; although priced at 25/1 he's held in high regard by connections - it's interesting to see they've opted for this race rather than the opening maiden hurdle. Johnny Og would have been an each-way suggestion had eight (or more) faced the starter.
Finally, just in case it passed you by, earlier this week Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography was published. Reviews suggest that racing fans hoping to gain an insight into events surrounding Ferguson's involvement with Rock Of Gibraltar will find the subject 'glossed over'. For those interested Martin Hannan's Rock Of Gibraltar (2004) is the recommended read.