THE John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase takes place on the opening day of the three-day meeting, Liverpool Day, on Thursday, April 12, with the John Smith’s Topham Chase following on Ladies Day, Friday, April 13.
Both races are run over an extended two miles and five furlongs on the Grand National course and one horse heading to the John Smith’s Topham Chase is Buffalo Bob, a game winner when making all at Chepstow on March 10.
The Kim Bailey-trained nine-year-old has experience over the famous National fences, having taken third behind Stewarts House in the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase over the same distance at Aintree on December 3.
Bailey, who is based near Andoversford in Gloucestershire, said: “The John Smith’s Topham Chase is a race we are looking at for Buffalo Bob.
“He has come out of the Chepstow race very well and I am very happy with him.
“I think he wants soft ground, but are we likely to get rain between now and Aintree? I don’t know. However, I think we will end up going there whatever happens.
“His running style will suit and I would be looking for a big run.”
My nap-bet last week, Premio Loco (5-1), won the Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday for Chris Wall and owner Bernard Westly.
I report good vibes from the Donald McCann stable about Ballabriggs (16-1) for the John Smith’s Grand National Handicap Chase.
Last year’s winner has worked nicely of late, Prince de Beauchene is the 8-1 favourite with the major bookmakers.
The Marco Botti trained Cocozza owned by Byerley Thoroughbred Racing has been the subject of a gamble (12-1 from 20-1) for the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday. He’s fit, ready to go and the straight course shouldn’t be a problem.
The ground at Town Moor is described as good this week with watering due to take place on Saturday.
Marvelino trained by my old pal Pat Eddery has been showing plenty at Musk Hill and is strongly fancied to run a big race in the 3.50 Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. Ryan Clark takes the ride on the 2 year old.
Fox Hunt will be hard to beat in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan on Saturday.
The note pad horse this week is Millers Pudsey who finished third at Towcester in a Standard Open National Hunt Flat race on Monday, Hughi Morrison’s six-year old stayed on nicely having been outpaced at half way after the subject of a early morning plunge (6-1 from 9-1) and will be of interest next time out in a small bumper.
Visit www.betwiththecolonel.co.uk for the Colonel’s tips.