Thursday 14 December 2017

Willie Mullins is behind On His Own in Aintree

Willie Mullins. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Willie Mullins. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

On His Own has not enjoyed much luck over the Grand National fences in his two previous visits to Aintree but is given one more chance to prove his suitability in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase.

Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins obviously feels it is worth heading back to Merseyside - and the Closutton maestro does not get much wrong.

In fairness, the first time Graham Wylie's nine-year-old tackled the unique course he was arguably travelling like the winner in Neptune Collonges' National when he fell at Becher's Brook on the second circuit.

Before his return visit he showed his ability by winning a Grade Two Hurdle but that was his only run before another National bid and more match practice might have been needed.

He was going backwards when falling at Valentine's second time around and since then has been kept quite busy, even running in France.

Most recently he ran over hurdles at Naas, finishing last of the six but beaten only six lengths by Rule The World, who admittedly did little for the form in the Hatton's Grace.

This is a horse built for fences, however, and the fact Mullins is having another crack lends weight to the theory that there is more to come.

The Giant Bolster is taken to bounce back to something like his best form in the Betfred "Hat Trick Heaven" Chase.

His trainer David Bridgwater believes a return to a sound surface, which he has never really had since chasing home Synchronised in the Gold Cup, will enable him to take flight once more.

He never really got involved at any stage in the Betfair Chase on his reappearance and while it is a bit unfair to say he was outclassed given he has finished second and fourth in the last two Cheltenham Gold Cups, the conditions of this race suit him much better.

Last year's winner Wayward Prince is forced to give him 10lb and although he has never run well at Aintree before, this time he should be fresh.

Donald McCain buys horses with the Grand National fences in mind and Dunowen Point took to them like a duck to water in the Topham Chase in April, leading until the last.

He is back again in the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and while he lacks a run, he gets in off the same mark.

Given the Topham winner, Triolo D'Alene, has gone on to win the Hennessy off an 8lb higher perch, he must have a good chance.

The absence of Sprinter Sacre in the BetVictor Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown is a blow but it opens the race up for a bet at least.

And while Nicky Henderson was gutted not to be able to run his stable star, fellow Seven Barrows inmate Captain Conan can make the most of it.

Three times a Grade One winner already at the course, he stays further than two miles which is a bonus at the highest level in true-run races.

He only met with defeat once last season, at Cheltenham behind Benefficient, and bounced back to win another Grade One at Aintree.

Hinterland has another go at the Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase as he failed to win over fences last term.

But he looked like his experiences had done him the world of good when about to dish out a beating to Grandouet at this course last month when that rival fell.

They meet again but there is no reason to envisage a different outcome.

Gunner Fifteen looks a smart prospect and can extend his unbeaten record in the Building Management Solutions Ltd "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow, while at Wetherby Imjoeking can win the Download The totepool App Handicap Chase.

The most interesting runner at Wolverhampton is Kazlian in the 32Red Handicap. The smart hurdler is now in the care of Johnny Farrelly after leaving David Pipe and was last seen finishing third in the Imperial Cup.

He never ran on the level for Pipe but was with Jean Claude-Rouget in his native France and was thought of highly enough to run in Listed company.

Farrelly is no doubt lining up a run back over timber but with good prize-money to go at, do not be surprised to see a big run.



AINTREE: 12.00 Regal Diamond, 12.30 Mystery Drama, 1.00 Clondaw Kaempfer, 1.30 Ivan Boru, 2.05 On His Own, 2.40 The Giant Bolster, 3.15 Dunowen Point.

CHEPSTOW: 12.25 Gunner Fifteen, 12.55 Wilton Milan, 1.25 Kris Spin, 2.00 The Druids Nephew, 2.35 Big Society, 3.10 Renard, 3.45 Tara Road.

NAVAN: 12.15 Lieutenant Colonel, 12.45 Urticaire,1.15 Faugheen, 1.45 Pep Talk, 2.20 Felix Yonger, 2.55 Tabhachtach, 3.30 Sizing Brisbane.

SANDOWN: 12.20 Vaniteux, 12.50 Alder Mairi, 1.20 Whisper, 1.50 Hinterland, 2.25 River Maigue, 3.00 CAPTAIN CONAN (NAP), 3.35 Court By Surprise.

WETHERBY: 12.10 I Need Gold, 12.40 Rick, 1.10 Ballyben, 1.40 Imjoeking, 2.15 Zaplamation, 2.50 Whiskey Ridge, 3.25 Chebsey Beau.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 6.20 Run It Twice, 6.50 Do More Business, 7.20 Summer School, 7.50 Best Tamayuz, 8.20 Kazlian, 8.50 Zalzilah, 9.20 Waldsee.

DOUBLE: Captain Conan and Dunowen Point.

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