Cue Card on course for Betway Bowl at Aintree

Fri 31 Mar 2017

Last year's winner Cue Card is one of 10 entries for the Betway Bowl at Aintree next Thursday.

Colin Tizzard's popular chaser fell at the third-last fence for the second successive year in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a fortnight ago and will bid to bounce back on Merseyside, just as he did so spectacularly 12 months ago.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti won this prize in 2014 and 2015 and is fresh for a potential hat-trick bid, having been given a break since running at Cheltenham in January.

Tea For Two only made it as far as the second fence before unseating Lizzie Kelly in the Gold Cup. He could also be sent on a recovery mission by Nick Williams.

Gigginstown House Stud are well represented, with the Gordon Elliot-trained pair of Empire Of Dirt and Outlander joined by Henry de Bromhead's Ryanair runner-up Sub Lieutenant.

Aso, Bristol De Mai, Otago Trail and Smad Place complete the list, but Gold Cup third Native River will not make an appearance on Merseyside.

The first Grade One event on an excellent card is the Manifesto Novices' Chase, which has attracted a strong entry of 13 horses.

Nicky Henderson's Top Notch arguably sets the standard having beaten all bar Yorkhill in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.

Other contenders include Michael Jefferson's Arkle runner-up Cloudy Dream and the Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect, who won a handicap at the Festival.

Triumph Hurdle hero Defi Du Seuil is the star name among 12 possible runners in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle.

Philip Hobbs' charge is unbeaten in six starts over obstacles and will be a red-hot favourite to extend his winning run on the opening day of the Grand National meeting.

Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger and the Queen's Forth Bridge are among his potential rivals.

On The Fringe and Pacha Du Polder are the headline acts among 32 horses left in the Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase.

Enda Bolger's On The Fringe has won the last two renewals, but could only finish fourth behind the Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder when bidding for a third win in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham.

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