Rebecca Curtis is dealing extremely well with the pressure of training Grand National favourite Teaforthree and can receive a timely boost when O’Faolains Boy lines up in Friday’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase.
The seven-year-old put up a terrific performance to win the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month, holding off the persistent challenge of Smad Place to win by a neck. That victory followed his earlier success in the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot, a race named after the only horse besides Red Rum to win more than one Grand National.
O’Faolains Boy clashes with another Cheltenham winner in Holywell, the mount of Tony McCoy. The promising son of Gold Well won a Grade 3 Handicap Chase to complete a hat-trick over fences. Don Cossack fell and brought down Many Clouds at the fourteenth fence in the RSA Chase and it was too early in the race to say how they might have fared.
The Melling Chase at 3.05 looks wide open this year with Ryanair Chase third Rajdhani Express likely to start favourite. He represents the combination of Nicky Henderson and Sam Waley-Cohen who team up with Long Run in Saturday’s Grand National.
The unpredictable Ballynagour is a strong rival if reproducing the form of his Cheltenham Festival victory while Module was a good third to Sire De Grugy in the Champion Chase. Wishfull Thinking and Boston Bob are others to consider but both may have preferred more give in the ground. Continue…