Sunday, 29 October 2017

Shantou Village can 'prove his class' in classy Old Roan match-up

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Neil Mulholland’s exciting Shantou Village is set to boost his Grade One claims, as he faces a highy-competitive field in Aintree’s Old Roan this afternoon.

The seven-year-old is four from five since switched to chasing, and the former Grade Two winning hurdler, who missed out on last year’s Cheltenham Festival, could be a classy chaser in the making.

“We’re really happy with him at the moment,” said the Wiltshire-based trainer.

“It looks a very competitive race, but it is his first start so we don’t know how he will get on.

“He’s been schooling very well, and we like him a lot. Hopefully he should run well for us, and we’re excited to get started with him this season.”

Paul Nicholls is hopeful Bouvreuil can step up from his promising handicapping form as he searches for a first Graded success.

“He ran some really nice races last year and I’m happy with him,” said the ten-time champion trainer.

“He’s got a nice low weight and he should like the good ground. He seems in great form and we’re hoping for a nice run.”

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Gary Moore has enjoyed nine winners in the last fortnight, boasting a 25% strike rate

Traffic Fluide hasn’t tasted victory in just under 20 months, but after a string of good efforts at the top level, confidence is high from Gary Moore.

“He seems in great order at home,” said the Sussex handler.

“He’s working really well and any more rain they get would be useful, as he loves a bit of cut in the ground. We couldn’t be happier with him going into the race, but ideally we want a bit of rain.

Connections insist last year’s winner Third Intention faces a tough ask of reclaiming his Grade Two prize. The ten-year-old hasn’t won since that victory.

“He won the race last year for us,” said Joe Tizzard, assistant to Colin.

“We know he goes well fresh and we have had this race in mind for him all summer. We are happy with him at home, and he seems to be going well at home.

“This is much more competitive than last year, so he needs to find a bit. He is back on the same mark he won it off last year, so hopefully he can run well.”

Hennessy and Cotswold Chase hero Smad Place is joined by Tea For Two, who won the Betway Bowl at this venue on his last start.

Former Champion and Melling Chase God’s Own makes his return to the track for Tom George. He finished third on his last outing at Punchestown last April.

Malcolm Jefferson's Cloudy Dream finished second in the Arkle and Aintree's Manifesto Novices' Chase before finally winning at this level at Ayr last time out.

Henry De Bromhead’s Devils Bride, Dan Skelton’s Oldgrangewood and Venetia Williams’s Aso complete the twelve-runner field. Ballybolley is a non-runner.

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