Altior remains 9/4 for the Champion Chase with BetVictor after his success in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Saturday. Nicky Henderson’s 10-year-old jumped well but hit his normal flat spot two out before powering clear from the last. I am convinced the Grade 1 Melling Chase at Aintree over two-and-a-half miles is his for the taking in the spring although I wonder if he has the speed at the minimum trip to cope with Defi Du Seuil (7/4 with BetVictor) up the Cheltenham hill in his bid for a hat-trick of Champion Chase crowns.
No racing in Britain or Ireland on Sunday as a result of Storm Ciara and Plumpton are due to hold a “precautionary inspection” at 8am this morning ahead of today’s card with Catterick abdanoned.
If racing gets the green light at Plumpton, I hope to see Colorado Doc (2.45) break his maiden tag under rules for Fergal O’Brien. The selection is a duel point winner and looked ready for a step up in trip when second at Hereford on his chase debut from a 4lbs lower mark.
At Wolverhampton and Distant Goddess ran a race full of promise when third over this evening’s C&D behind stablemate Endless Echoes here last month. She will have her supporters, but preference is for Festive Love (4.35) who finished second at Kempton on her first start and Michael Bell brings her out just nine days later. The selection is a daughter of Frankel who looked as if a step up in trip would suit when second at Kempton over a mile.