Cue Card will bid to make amends for his untimely fall in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup when he runs in the Betfred Bowl Chase at Aintree tomorrow.
The 10-year-old appeared to be travelling ominously well when coming down at the third-last fence in the blue riband last month.
Colin Tizzard’s charge had been in line for a £1million bonus had he won the Gold Cup, having previously won Haydock’s Betfair Chase and the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
His eight rivals in the Grade One over three miles and a furlong include Djakadam and Don Poli. The pair, trained by Willie Mullins, finished second and third respectively in the Gold Cup behind Don Cossack.
Another interesting contender is Saphir Du Rheu. Winner of the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at this meeting 12 months ago, the Paul Nicholls-trained grey has been mixing chasing with hurdling again this term.
Second in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham last season, he was sixth to Cue Card’s stablemate Thistlecrack in that race last month.
Completing the nine are David Pipe’s Dynaste, Venetia Williams’ Houblon Des Obeaux, the Rebecca Curtis-trained Irish Cavalier, Jonjo O’Neill’s Taquin Du Seuil and Wakanda from Sue Smith’s High Eldwick stable.
Annie Power is the star name among six runners in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle. The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old became the first mare in 22 years to claim Champion Hurdle glory last month and is re-opposed by the second, third and fourth at Cheltenham – Nicky Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours, her stable companion Nichols Canyon and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One, winner of this prize in 2014.
Champion Hurdle ninth Camping Ground and Court Minstrel complete the field.
AINTREE: 1.40 Garde La Victoire, 2.15 IVANOVICH GORBATOV (NAP), 2.50 Cue Card (treble), 3.25 Annie Power (next best), 4.05 On The Fringe, 4.40 Minella Present, 5.15 Augusta Kate.
SOUTHWELL: 1.50 Mailshot, 2.25 White Shaheen, 3.00 Quadriga, 3.35 Moonshine Ridge, 4.15 Tartan Blue, 4.50 Sartori, 5.25 Lizzy’s Dream.
CHELMSFORD: 5.50 Hakam, 6.20 Altarsheed, 6.50 Secret Sense, 7.20 Farham, 7.50 Eleuthera, 8.20 Lady Lloyd.
TAUNTON: 2.05 Cahill, 2.40 Emerging Talent, 3.15 Church Field, 3.55 Al Alfa, 4.30 Nesterenko, 5.05 Well Mett, 5.40 Bally Gilbert.