Betway Bowl Chase
A race that looks a little bit of a minefield!
Protektorat is two from two around Aintree however both he and Royale Pagaille were all out to try and grab a top three spot in the Gold Cup last month and racing again here just three weeks later could be too quick a turnaround.
Conflated won the Irish Gold Cup in February but wasn’t going to catch Allaho in the Ryanair and suffered a fall two from home which isn’t ideal so for me the winner looks likely to come from Kemboy, who won the race in 2019 and Clan Des Obeaux who landed the spoils last year. The former beat Clan Des Obeaux by nine lengths when victorious in 2019 but hasn’t been at the top of his game since his last victory in February 2021, disappointing in four from five runs, however the other run was a close-up 3rd in the Savills Chase where he finished within a length off subsequent Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard. With that form it's clear he still retains plenty of ability if arriving on a going day.
Paul Nicholls' charge won this race last season having finished second in the Denman Chase in February and will have to follow the same path this time around having once again come up short at Newbury. First time cheekpieces did the trick last year and this time around he will be fitted with first time blinkers – if they have the desired effect then he can give Paul Nicholls his sixth win in this race.
CLAN DES OBEAUX (WIN)