SUNDAY WEEKENDER

13:55 Aintree We kick off today’s three selections with some decent racing at Liverpool’s premier race course Aintree. The second race on the card is a conditional jockeys handicap hurdle. The potential future riding stars take the reigns in this eight runner contest. Top trainer Jonjo O’Neill saddles Optimistic Bias who, up until its previous start, hadn’t finished outside of the top two. A fourth placed finish in a nineteen runner handicap at Cheltenham looks like some of the best form on offer however I feel it may need the run and may be beaten for fitness with a few of today’s rivals. The one that gets my vote hails from a similarly big jumping powerhouse training yard, that of Phillip Hobbs. The six year old Sykes looked as if it’d come on for its seasonal reappearance as this lightly raced runner also has blinkers applied for the first time today. Promising young jockey Ciaran Gethings takes the mount on a horse that should have enough scope to pick up a pretty weak event such as this. Sykes (WIN)

14:30 Aintree Staying at Aintree with the next contest on the card and unlike the first selection I’m opposing the current market leader here. Peter Bowen and son Sean are hoping that Danimix’s run continues after two recent, consecutive victories at Chepstow and Fontwell respectively. Any horse that looks set for a hat-trick has to be respected but I genuinely don’t know how good the quality of those victories were. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has his yard in top notch form with a strike rate over 30% over the past two weeks and as such Benbens must have a decent chance. Ely Brown had a disappointing campaign last season but now sits on a decent handicap mark. The horse has a great record around Aintree and has a decent record first time out. Charlie Longsdon is going to have the horse ready for this and should go well today. Ely Brown (E/W if 9/2+)

16:15 Wincanton Heading over to Wincanton for the last pick of the day and although it seems a very obvious one the favourite looks like it’ll be hard to beat. Paul Nicholls is renowned for the success he has with his imported novices and he may have unearthed another in the form of the lightly raced Romain De Senam. A victory in its last outing back in April looks head and shoulders above its rivals past efforts and looks head and shoulders above its rivals past exploits. Cahill has to be mentioned hailing from the Alan King yard but looks by far the second best. Another horse worth a mention is the untested Nick Williams trained entry The Coffee Hunter who could do better than its price suggests. Romain De Senam (WIN)

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