Danimix can complete hat-trick in Veterans’ Chase at Aintree
The 2.30 at Aintree on Sunday is a three-mile handicap chase for veteran steeplechasers of ten years or older. The race has attracted eight runners headed by the Lucinda Russell-trained Lie Forrit who enjoyed a very successful season in 2013-14.
The eleven-year-old gelding is the winner of twelve of his 29 races including last season’s Grand National Trial at Haydock. He also won this race 12 months’ ago and a similar contest at Kelso in heavy ground in January.
He was probably over the top for the season when well beaten in the Scottish National in April and this will be his first run since. He runs well fresh but is now 20lbs higher in the handicap than when beating Pigeon Island by a neck.
The favourite here is Danimix, a ten-year-old gelding by Dr Massini trained by Peter Bowen. He has relatively few miles on the clock with seven victories in twenty-three races. He arrives here on a hat-trick following victories at Fontwell and Chepstow. He was raised 9lbs for his seven lengths win over Shantou Tiger but was even more impressive last time. He jumped well throughout before pulling ten lengths clear of Court By Surprise. He has been put up a further 10lbs here but looks more progressive than his rivals.
The oldest horse in the race is Any Currency, a twelve-year-old trained by Martin Keighley. He has only won four of his forty races but has been a regular competitor in the Cross Country races at Cheltenham in recent seasons.
Maggio won last time out for Patrick Griffin when beating Kilbree Kid by half a length at Perth in July. That was his first run since finishing down the field in the Topham Chase here in April. He has been put up 6lbs and Brian Hughes takes the ride.
Benbens represents the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable but has nearly twenty lengths to make up on Danimix from Chepstow. He was a courageous third in the Scottish National in April behind Wayward Prince but may need a stiffer test of stamina these days.
Ely Brown was a smart novice last year but lost his form and has failed to complete in his last three races. Gordon Elliott went close in the handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday and saddles another leading contender here with Russian Regent. He has been racing at Perth this summer and will be fitter than most in this race.
Danimix 2.30 Aintree Sunday @3.25 Ladbrokes