1.30 AINTREE – THE BETFRED BECHER HANDICAP CHASE
This looks an open renewal and several will fancy their chances. Highland Lodge jumps for fun from the front and should run a big race. He has class form to his name, including finishing fourth in the 2013 Hennessy off a mark of 143, yet runs here of 132. The yard is also in good form and the ground is fine, so he should run well at a decent price and is of each-way interest. OUR FATHER has some decent form to his name and runs very well when fresh. He unseated in the Grand National off a mark of 145, but gets in off 136 for this and that looks lenient. He looked superb first time out as a novice chaser and ran well enough in the Hennessy off 147, so he could be thrown in and assuming he has learned from his mistake the last time he tackled the big fences, he can win.
3.00 SANDOWN – THE 888sport TINGLE CREEK CHASE
Balder Succes was a top class novice chaser and looks the one to beat. His win at Aintree was top class and he pleased connections by finishing second to God’s Own on his seasonal debut at Exeter. He is 7lbs better off for five lengths, so there is every chance he can turn the tables, but there should not be much between the pair. At bigger odds, the one that jumps out at me is DODGING BULLETS. He was also a top novice chaser and has a great record in the first half of the season. He is two from two going right-handed over fences and ran really well behind the classy Uxizandre at Cheltenham. He travelled and jumped well that day and although he goes well fresh, he may improve for that run and is right up there on ratings. I can see this race being run to suit him and his good jumping and high cruising speed, will see him go close.