Through The Card: Aintree, Friday May 18

There is jumps racing from Aintree on Friday evening
There is jumps racing from Aintree on Friday evening
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Timeform take you through the card at Aintree on Friday evening...

"He arrives on a mark just 3 lb higher than when winning this race 12 months ago..."

Timeform on Virgilio

17:35 - PINEAPPLE RUSH (1) was strong in the betting and showed improved to follow up her hurdling debut win at Hexham last time, hitting the front on the approach to the last and quickly forging clear. She starts out in handicaps from what looks a fair mark this evening, a narrow leader from Lucca Lady on our weight-adjusted ratings, and looks sure to take all the beating under Richard Johnson, with further improvement likely to be forthcoming in her hat-trick bid. Kupatana completes the shortlist.

18:05 - PETROU (4) stepped up on his effort in a Kempton Grade 2 and shaped well to boot when fourth at Ayr last month, some less-than-fluent jumping rather hindering his finishing effort. This sort of mark looks within reach on that evidence and he can play a leading role provided he jumps more fluently. Facile Kelso scorer Martiloo is an obvious danger though, while Deauville Dancer can also feature.

18:40 - WHATZDJAZZ (7) proved better than ever when runner-up in a very competitive mares' handicap at Cheltenham last month and a 4 lb rise won't prevent a very bold bid as she attempts to go one better in this third leg of the Placepot. Eaton Hill also found only one too good in a strong C&D contest last time and is feared most, with Sternrubin likely to give it a good go from the front.

19:10 - NOT THAT FUISSE (2) got back on track with a ready win at Uttoxeter last time and, well clear of fellow previous winner All Good Things on weight-adjusted ratings, he is very hard to look past, with the prospect of more to come after just four starts over hurdles.

19:45 - BLACK SAM BELLA (9) proved a different proposition when making a successful handicap debut with plenty in hand at Uttoxeter 13 days ago, and she appeals as the sort that could run up a sequence now she's on the right path. My Old Gold remains one to be positive about, while Wemyss Point could have more to offer returning to this sphere.

20:20 - VIRGILIO (1) took a heavy tumble at Becher's Brook in the Grand National here last time, but he has been given plenty of time to recover from those exertions and would appear to hold obvious claims if bouncing back to his smart best in this concluding leg of the Placepot. He arrives on a mark just 3 lb higher than when winning this race (putting the race to bed impressively by seven lengths) 12 months ago, and trainer Dan Skelton could hardly be in better form at present, with six winners from his last 17 runners.

20:50 - BILLYGWYN TOO (1) edged out expensive purchase Kootenay River at Exeter last month and is fancied to confirm his superiority over Alan King's charge to follow up in the finale, though the betting needs monitoring with several of the newcomers having enjoyed success in points.

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