Aiming for a winning start
13:45 - Pic D'Orhy
I've had this race in mind all season for Pic D'Orhy who is best on a flat track like Aintree with nice ground. We were never going to Cheltenham with him and probably shouldn't have taken him to Sandown. He is exciting and looked smart when winning last time at Kempton which was his best performance over fences. He has won two Grade 2 Chases and it would be nice to win a Grand 1.
Gunning for glory at a favourite track
14:55 - Clan Des Obeaux
He is back to the scene of his runaway victory in this race a year ago in first time cheek pieces. He went on to gain a brilliant success at Punchestown. Clan hasn't been at his best yet this season but still ran well in the King George. I was then a little disappointed with him at Newbury when our horses were a bit out of form.
Clan is not getting any younger but he's bouncing at the moment and looks great in his coat. We worked him in blinkers on Saturday to sharpen him up and he will wear them in a race for the first time on Thursday. I'm hopeful of another big run back at a track we know he likes.
Pair will relish the trip
15:30 - McFabulous
The plan was to take him to Cheltenham for the Coral Cup but we changed our mind when the rain arrived in torrents on the day. So I've kept him fresh for the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle and the trip of two-and-a-half miles looks ideal. We are hoping cheek pieces first time can bring out a bit more improvement.
15:30 - Monmiral
It's never easy for a juvenile in his second season and he's had a frustrating campaign after picking up a nasty injury in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle. He was on the easy list for a while after that so we knew he wasn't quite ready in the National Spirit at Fontwell where he travelled keenly and jumped really well until blowing up going to the final flight.
That was a stepping stone towards Aintree and he is much sharper now. Monmiral looked so good in victory at this meeting last year and, while on ratings he needs to improve, I'm sure he will appreciate the step up in trip to two-and-a-half miles.
Nice chance can roar again
16:05 - Cat Tiger
He gave his owner David Maxwell a fabulous ride in this race a year ago when they led over the last fence and were only run out of it on the flat. They also enjoyed another decent spin over the National fences by finishing fifth in the Grand Sefton in November. He then won a handicap at Ascot with a late flourish but didn't get the trip in the soft in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. Back in distance at level weights in this company he has a nice chance.
Has found form in time for Aintree test
16:40 - Dolos
He usually comes good in the spring and bounced back to form at Sandown last time in a race he has made his own. The handicapper reacted by raising him 5lbs and this race looks much more competitive but we will give it a go.
Sound claims in a fast race
16:40 - Thyme White
I kept him fresh for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham after he won stylishly at Doncaster but pulled him out when the ground turned heavy. I then gave him a few quiet days after Cheltenham and wonder if he might just have needed the race at Ascot where he finished second after being left in front much sooner than ideal. Thyme White is quick over his fences, should get the fast run race he needs, and goes to Aintree with sound claims.
Lovely filly with a bright future
17:15 - Iliade Allen
She's a lovely filly who we bought from Nick Williams shortly after she finished a close second in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham on New Year's day. She was very keen that day, went charging off in front, and was only just collared on the hill. She has settled well into our routine and has a bright future.
Run is dependent on weather
15:10 - Inca de Lafeyette
He's an interesting prospect who won a bumper in France late last year before making a winning start for us over hurdles at Taunton in February. While he gives every sign that he has improved since then I'd like to see the forecast rain arrive at Taunton for him to run.
Capable of challenging the favourite
15:45 - Time To Tinker
He had a little bit of a break in January but was so consistent earlier in the season as he stepped up in trip, winning at Taunton and Wincanton before keeping on well to finish a good second over three miles back at Taunton last time. With Angus Cheleda taking off a handy 5lbs he should give Earth Lord a run for his money.
Should go well
17:25 - Holetown Hero
He ran well last time when fifth of 18 in a decent bumper at Wincanton on Boxing Day and first two have both won since then. He has needed a bit of time, will enjoy the better ground at Taunton and should go well.
Will enjoy Ffos Las after Cheltenham
13:00 - Silent Revolution
He won tidily on his debut over hurdles at Newbury in November but was out of his comfort zone behind Constitution Hill in the Supreme at Cheltenham. He will be much happier back in calmer waters at Ffos Las.
Paul's Best Chance on Thursday: Thyme White each-way in the 16:40 at Aintree. "We have a few at shorter prices but Thyme White looks a sporting each-way shot at longer odds."