Our betting expert will be at Aintree on Saturday and he has three selections for the meeting in Merseyside.
Stats and systems backers just cannot let this one run unbacked. I use Proform for my stats and it tells me that you simply must back Dr Newland’s horses on their first run for his yard.
He has been improving horses from other trainers for years and is 3-4 with them in handicaps this year.
Getting this one in off bottom weight looks a typically shrewd bit of placing.
Several in the field, including Abolitionist, are more regularly seen over fences and most have no real aspirations over hurdles so it might not be the most competitive affair. Several sporting the MacManus colours look as though this is a warm-up race.
Abolitionist has clearly had issues, given he has not been seen much in the past two years, so maybe it is worth a look in the market but I am happy enough to put him up given the stable are in excellent form and his hurdles mark is much lower than his useful chase rating.
Even though he is attempting to give 4lb to Unowhatimeanharry I am reasonably confident that the weight will be offset by having legs that are three years younger.
Unowhatimeanharry won this race last year, but didn’t beat a horse as good as Wholestone and also didn’t score again all season and it was absolutely clear by the end of last term that his rating had peaked.
Wholestone will never be a brilliant jumper but he has gradually improved and may still have upside.
He is terrifically consistent, as well as very high class, and I believe he is likely to be better suited by the middle distance trip than his older rivals. He too has won previously at Aintree. 2.40 Aintree: Romain De Senam
This one rates the nap for me. He was in good form early last season, winning twice, but definitely ran as though he would come on for the run on his seasonal debut at Market Rasen.
Dropped 1lb, he is now lower than his latest winning mark and it is also significant that Nicholls has put his excellent claimer Lorcan Murtagh to take off another 5lb.
That will swing it for me and I believe the long Aintree straight will suit a horse who ideally likes to come off a pace which is guaranteed here with several prominent racers.