Merry King did us proud in the Hennessy Gold Cup last weekend but couldn’t match the younger legs of Many Clouds. Today in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase I like the chances of two 7 year old runners. The stats do not support my optimism with none of the past 10 winners younger than 8 but stats never bother me too much. This race is run over the Grand National fences but way shorter in trip at a mere 2m5f and some.
The two young chasers we want onside today are Dolatula & King of the Wolds.
Dolatula looks to have the best chance of the pair and is priced up the shorter. That is not surprising when you consider the form of his excellent seasonal debut when second to Sound Investment at Sandown. The fourth home that day No Buts went on to beat Sound Investment in a competitive and valuable handicap chase at Newbury 8 days ago.
Both horses (Sound Investment & No Buts) have gone up 9 or 10lbs in the handicap but Dolatula gets to run today off just a 1lb higher mark. Soft ground holds no fears and having just had 11 chase starts he can progress up the ranks with a win today. He can jump to his left at times which will not be a problem at left-handed Aintree.
King of the Wolds is a little more speculative as it’s his class not jumping that provides a slight concern. This huge chaser jumps well in the main and should handle the Grand National fences comfortably (touch wood). He might find it hard to keep pace with the leaders in this class of handicap due to lack of tactical speed but I’m expecting his jumping to keep him in the race. He gets to run here carrying just 10 stone and will feel like he is running loose.
King of the Wolds eight chasing starts have seen him finish first twice and second three times with two of his unplaced chases ran on good ground where he was outpaced. Having had two runs already this season he should be reaching peak fitness and can go close today having forged a good partnership with regular jockey Brian Hughes.
Selection A – 1 Point *EW Dolatula Aintree 15:15 9/1 Betvictor, Bet365 & William Hill
Selection B –1 Point *EW king of the Wolds Aintree 15:15 12/1 Betvictor, Bet365, Coral & William Hill
Best of luck,