Three weeks after Cheltenham it's Aintree - the trickiest meeting of the season in my book.
Very brief notes...
In the Aintree Hurdle (3.05) The New One is the one to beat and he'll be long odds-on. Badly hampered by the fatal fall of Our Conor in the Champion Hurdle he finished like a train in third, beaten a neck and two and a half lengths; the step up in trip will suit.
Dynaste is priced up favourite for the Betfred Bowl at 2.30. He won the Mildmay Novices' Chase over course and distance last year and took the Ryanair at the Festival, even though he looked to have plenty to do three from home. Silviniaco Conti had his market rival well beaten in the King George at Kempton over Christmas but Dynaste was found to be wrong that day; Silviniaco appeared to have a hard enough race when finishing fourth in the Gold Cup. The Nicholls yard recorded just one winner at Cheltenham (Lac Fontana in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle) and has only managed to add two more to the total since... Course and distance winner First Lieutenant missed Cheltenham and as a consequence could have the edge over his main rivals. A trappy event I'll watch from the sidelines.
Looking at the novice chase at 4.50.... Western Warhorse beat Dodging Bullets in the Arkle while Uxiandre ran a huge race at 33/1 to finish second to Taquin Du Seill in the JLT Novices' Chase, a race in which Oscar Whisky fell at the very first flight. As a consequence Oscar Whisky should be fresher than those rivals and has won over course and distance previously so Nicky Henderson's charge gets the vote.