AINTREE BOWL RACE PREVIEW
Cue Card recorded impressive wins in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November and in the Ascot. He finished just a few inches in front of Silviniaco Conti when the pair filled the places behind Thistlecrack in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day. Last month at Cheltenham, he fell three from home when starting to struggle in the Gold Cup. Anyway, he fell at the same fence in the 2016 Gold Cup renewal before bouncing back to win the Aintree Bowl.
Empire Of Dirt won the Troytown Handicap at Navan earlier this season, suggesting that he could be a potential challenger in the Grand National. He was very disappointing in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Anyway, his strong display in the Irish Gold Cup – runner up behind eventual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John – should put him in good stead for a challenge at Aintree.
Silviniaco Conti is a two time winner of this race. He has been below par this term, nut he is still at his best when bowling along out infront on a flat track and has rarely encountered those conditions this season. Furthermore, Paul Nicholls' 11-year-old is fully effective on spring ground and arrives here fresh, having skipped Cheltenham completely.
Bristol De Mai ran well for a long way in the Gold Cup, without the mistake at the last he might have been third or fourth. Aintree ground will suit him, he was third in the Grade One juvenile hurdle there a couple of years ago
Smad Place, who finished fourth in this race two years ago, was only eighth in the Gold Cup. He has won three hurdle races and five chases from 2m to 3m 2f in his career.
Tea For Two only got as far as the second fence in the Gold Cup, where he unseated Lizzie Kelly, but he was not beaten far when fourth in the King George.
Aso, from the Venetia Williams stable, completes the septet. This horse recently put in a good effort to take third place behind Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
AINTREE BOWL BEST ODDS
- Cue Card @ 12/1
- Empire of Dirt @ 5/2
- Bristol De Mai @ 6/1
- Silviniaco Conti @ 10/1
- Tea For Two @ 18/1
- Smad Place @ 18/1
- Aso @ 20/1
AINTREE BOWL PREDICTIONS
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