ITV Racing Tips from Hanbury Racing as a Saturday double for Aintree.
I always love watching any race over the National fences so I will be glued to my TV watching this Becher chase.
It is used as a stepping stone to a potential National bid, so you get plenty trying the fences for the first time, many fail miserably, but the few that take to it keep the National dream alive for their Owners.
One such horse is Snow Leopardess, who won this by a game nose last year and returns off a 6lb higher mark. She is a beautiful grey and jumps these fences for fun so she will be making a bold bid for a repeat win. I like her chances and is one for the forecast, but I do like MINELLA BOBO who is lurking right at the bottom of the handicap and has the eye-catching jockey booking of Sean Bowen who would have had more obvious choices in this race.
Minella Bobo is with the excellent Rebecca Curtis yard and is twice a winner over 3-mile chases from eight starts, interestingly Sean Bowen was in the saddle for both victories.
He won those races with superb jumping, he isn’t exuberate, but fast and brave, just the sort of technique that you want over the National fences.
The nine-year-old gelding also likes to race prominently which is a big positive as he should avoid being hampered or being taken out by fallers.
Minella Bobo is still lightly raced with only thirteen career starts, and whilst his form this year isn’t great, he is coming back from injury and was given a seasonal pipe opener over hurdles before running prominently but ultimately fading and pulling when last seen behind. That run was excusable on the heavy ground as he prefers faster going. Today’s good to soft, soft in places should be ideal.
This Becher chase would have been his early season target, and with Sean Bowen choosing him that gives me confidence Minella Bobo is showing enough at home to warrant an each-way play at monster odds of 50/1.
I, therefore, recommend 1 point each way.
With Snow Leopardesses’ liking for the track I can’t resist putting her in a 0.50-point reverse forecast with Minella Bobo – at current odds, the forecast will be paying around 500/1+ so is worth a small investment!
The Mildmay chase course has standard regulation fences, so whilst it’s not as unique as the National fences the flat galloping nature of the track still creates course specialists.
Clan Legend certainly falls into that category, especially in this race as he rocks up here going for a hattrick of wins. The form of last year’s win is relevant as he defeated Riders on the Storm and that horse goes off as favourite today whereas Clan Legend sits at 12/1. With only a 2lb pull for 3 lengths, Clan Legend should have every chance to uphold that form.
Unfortunately, he is twelve now which is a negative, and more of an issue is the ground, as he loves soft/heavy and the current good to soft just might be too quick for him.
I backed Clan to win in this race last year, but with those concerns ringing in my head I am going to leave him alone and side with Irish raider HANDSWORTH.
He comes from a small yard that rarely sends runners over to the UK (only three runs in the past five years), and with so many Irish horses travelling over and winning our Saturday handicaps his chances are hugely respected.
Handsworth is only seven and has improved for going chasing winning two of his nine starts, In the past, he has been a frustrating character who hadn’t delivered the promise he had shown. But connections seem to have found the key to unlocking that potential by him by running left-handed with cheekpieces applied.
Those two wins were over 2m 4F last season, but since his second victory, he hasn’t raced over his best trip. Instead, he ran in two races sponsored by his owner over 3 miles and 2 miles 1F.
Handsworth showed himself to be in good form on his recent reappearance staying on strongly to finish a half-length second over an inadequate 2 miles.
He should come on for the run and a return to his optimum 2m 4F is bound to bring out improvement, consequently he should have a big chance around left-handed Aintree.
He looks like a cracking each-way play at a best-priced 22/1 with William Hill.