Double Ross the form choice in Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree
The final race on the card at Aintree on Saturday is the £70,000 Grand Sefton Chase over two and three-quarter miles.
The weights are headed by Rocky Creek, a nine-year-old gelding trained by Paul Nicholls.
He put up the finest display of his career when winning the BetBright Chase at Kempton by six lengths in February. That had seemed to put him spot on for a second tilt at the Grand National but he was never really travelling and finished a remote seventeenth. He was fifth in the big race a year earlier and started this season with a decent effort in Ireland.
He was beaten eight lengths by Don Cossack in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal. He was the first of the four runners to come under pressure but stuck on gamely in the closing stages. He will need to produce a career-best effort to win this off a handicap mark of 160.
Stable companion Fago has not won since scoring at Haydock in 2013 but has only raced six times since. He was beaten by Wakanda at Wetherby in October before finishing seventh to Dresden at Ascot.
Although this race is always competitive, there are not many class performers in the field. Double Ross is one of them and Nigel Twiston-Davies has trained the son of Double Eclipse to win five races up to two miles and five furlongs. His biggest success came in a Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in 2013 and he has kept top class company since. He ran a fine race in defeat when fourth to Annacotty in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time.
Poole Master won this race last year for David Pipe but did nothing to inspire confidence when finishing well beaten in sixth at Haydock last month. He was also pulled up at the Aintree Grand National meeting and is not the most reliable of horses.
Seventh Sky is tough and consistent but the handicapper has caught up with him after some fine efforts. He has been taking on the best this season and been outclassed behind Coneygree and Vautour.
There has been early market support for Bennys Mist, a nine-year-old gelding trained by Venetia Williams. He has failed to complete in his last three races and makes little appeal at odds of a around 8.0. He was third here a year ago which is presumably the inspiration behind the gamble.
Double Ross 3.20 Aintree Saturday @6.0 Bet365