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13:55 Aintree

We begin todays’ Weekender with a Class 2 Handicap over hurdles with eight scheduled to go to post. The forecast market leader is Broxbourne who has a career win rate of 34% which spans across flat races, both turf and all-weather, and over hurdles. She has won on return from a break on two occasions previously so has to be rated a contender on her first run since June, although takes a step up in distance for todays’ race having never gone beyond twenty-two furlongs previously.

Our Kaempher steps back up in trip after finishing fourth on his seasonal re-appearance over an inadequate nineteen furlongs. With a career strike rate of 70% for top three finishes including a solid placed effort in the Grade 1 Doom Bar here at Aintree in April he brings arguably the best form to the table and should prove tough to beat.

2014 Irish Grand National winner Shutthefrontdoor is another worthy of consideration having won returning from a break on no less than three occasions and a career win record of nine from fifteen. One question mark here is that he runs over hurdles for the first time in over two years despite performing very well over fences in recent years which makes me think this could just be a run out with a view to bigger prizes later in the season.

Our Kaempher (WIN) 15:40 Aintree

We stay at Aintree for our second race of the Weekender where we hope that the Charlie Longsdon trained Germany Calling can continue both his and his trainers recent good form by making it three in a row over todays’ trip. A convincing three length winner (eased down) on re-appearance at Carlisle on October he looks more than capable of taking the 6lbs rise in his stride and improve his already impressive strike rate over two miles.

Russborough finally got his head in front for the first time in nine career runs when last seen in March, although that was over twenty furlongs and his best attempt over two miles was a five length second off a mark of 119. Running off 125 today and with an eight month absence to overcome he doesn’t look the most likely to be able to follow up on his last win.

The main danger looks likely to come from Yorkist who has made the frame in six of his last seven runs, including two wins and most recently a solid runner-up effort in a listed race at Ayr in April. He is passed over today as, despite the obvious ability and consistent form last season, his record on return from a break has been a little less than impressive.

Germany Calling (WIN) 17:40 Chelmsford

Our final race comes from Chelmsford where we take in a Class 4 handicap over six furlongs. Magnus Maximus heads the market and is my final selection of the day. He was third in a class 3 over course and distance towards the end of October and runs off the same mark today. Furthermore, his record of three wins and two placed efforts from eleven over todays’ trip means that he has a much better strike rate than his main market rivals.

Secret Asset arrives here with a 3lbs rise on the back of a recent course win but that was over five furlongs and his record over six leaves a lot to be desired with only two wins from twenty-nine.

Pea Shooter is another who won last time out but this was also over five furlongs and has only managed one win in twenty over todays’ trip.

Hoofalong has only previously raced twice on the all-weather and finished eighth of nine and eleven of thirteen respectively. Furthermore he is yet to make the frame in nine attempts over todays’ trip, yet cannot be discounted on the back of his latest run as he possibly would have won with a better start and actually looked like the extra furlong be of benefit.

Magnus Maximus (WIN)


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