EIGHT runners have been declared for tomorrow's Betfred Bowl at Aintree, with Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud double-handed in the race which sees Gold Cup faller Silviniaco Conti as the odds-on favourite.
Paul Nicholls' Silviniaco Conti looked to be coming with a menacing challenge in the Gold Cup – won by Bobs Worth – but a crashing fall at the third last left us all wondering how the race would have unfolded.
On the basis of how well he did appear to be travelling that day, Silviniaco Conti looks a worthy favourite, but Ryanair Chase runner-up First Lieutenant and Colm Murphy's Quito De La Roque will be sure to test his resolve following that Cheltenham outing.
Oliver McKiernan will be looking to win the race for a second time, having previously won it with Follow The Plan. Tomorrow, he looks to score with novice Whodoyouthink, who is the outsider in the field.
The fourth and fifth from the Gold Cup, The Giant Bolster and Cape Tribulation, join Menorah and Gold Cup seventh Wayward Prince to complete the field.
Boylesports offer 15/8 that the winner will be Irish-trained and both the Gigginstown pair are interesting as Quito De La Roque comes here fresh without running at Cheltenham. His latest start saw him back to something of his best so at the odds he may offer each-way value.
There is more Grade One action with the John Smith's Aintree Hurdle, which see's Neptune Investments Novices' Hurdle winner The New One stepping up to take on the older brigade.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' five-year-old takes on eight rivals which include previous race winner Oscar Whisky and stable companion Grandouet, who fell when fancied in the Champion Hurdle last month.
Nicholls sends out Champion Hurdle fourth Zarkandar as well as Prospect Wells, and Ruby Walsh has opted to take the ride on Zarkandar rather than stick with Thousand Stars, who has been second in this race twice to Oscar Whisky. Thousand Stars' campaign has been built towards this race and he bypassed Cheltenham with here in mind. However, the popular grey will have to bounce back from a very poor run last time out to get involved in this competitive renewal.
From a betting perspective it is a very difficult race to assess with The New One making it very interesting, but whether he can hold off more seasoned performers such as Triumph Hurdle winner and Champion Hurdle third Countrywide Flame remains to be seen.
The Foxhunters' Chase is a fascinating race to watch as the amateurs get their go over the National fences, and our own Katie Walsh will lead them to the start on top of Battlefront.
The 11-year-old has been a model of consistency in the point-to-point field and ran a very nice race at Fairyhouse last time out to make him a major player in this race and get a possibly memorable weekend for the Walsh family off to the best possible start.