14:05 Newcastle

The Rebecca Menzies trained HIGH MOON (best priced at 4/1) won this race last season off a 1lb higher mark and ran much better last time in first time cheekpieces. The nine-year-old won this race off a mark of 116 on heavy ground on his final start last season before running poorly on his first three starts this season at Carlisle, Kelso and Ayr. 

High Moon returned from an 88 day break to finish 2nd at Ayr last time off a mark of 113 and the handicapper has raised him 2lbs for that 4 ¾ length defeat. He remains 1lb lower than his victory last year and should appreciate the softest ground he has encountered this season. 

High Noon - 1pt @ 4/1

15:25 Newcastle

This looks a competitive 0-100 handicap but preference goes to CALL ME JACK (best priced at 10/3) who has been in good form recently since switching to handicaps. The Mark Walford trained five-year-old has form figures of 121 in handicap hurdles including an impressive 2 ¾ length victory over this course and distance last time when upped in trip to 2m4½f for the first time. 

Call Me Jack relished the step up in trip so he looks unexposed over this distance and should be able to defy a 7lb higher mark. 

Call Me Jack - 1pt @ 10/3

16:00 Aintree

Mahler Mission (tipped on 12th March at 16/1) would still be my main selection for the Grand National but I would like to keep I AM MAXIMUS (best priced at 15/2) on side in the race too. The Willie Mullins trained eight-year-old won the Irish Grand National last season under Paul Townend before winning the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase on his reappearance over an inadequate 2m4f. He finished behind Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown on his next two starts but was an impressive winner of the Bobbyjo Chase at his beloved Fairyhouse last time as his prep for this. 

I Am Maximus has his own jumping technique and is likely to be towards the rear of the field in the early stages but this unique test is likely to play to his strengths and he could provide Paul Townend a first win in the race and Willie Mullins a first win since Hedgehunter in 2005. 

I Am Maximus - 1pt @ 15/2

17:00 Aintree

The form of the Arkle received a form boost on the opening day with Il Etait Temps winning but I feel the market is underestimating the Grade 1 win of NICKLE BACK (best priced at 10/1) who will encounter slightly better ground than when missing the Manifesto Novices’ Chase on Thursday. The Sarah Humphrey trained eight-year-old has form figures of 11221 this season over fences including wide margin victories on his first two starts at Warwick and Stratford. 

Nickle Back was beaten by Master Chewy at Kempton when dropped down in trip to 2 miles but bounced back to win the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown by 7 lengths. This flat left handed track should and if he gets an uncontested lead then he could spring another surprise. 

Nickle Back - 1pt @ 10/1