Randox Grand National Festival: Politologue figures in Marsh octet

Wed 7 Apr 2021

Politologue is set to face seven rivals in the Marsh Chase at Aintree on Friday.

The grey was denied the chance to defend his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown at last month's Cheltenham Festival, and only moments before the race after a trickle of blood was discovered in his nostril with trainer Paul Nicholls taking no chances.

 Owner John Hales shows his appreciation to Politologue at Sandowbn back in December (Photo: (Focusonracing)
Owner John Hales shows his appreciation to Politologue at Sandowbn back in December (Photo: (Focusonracing)

The incident transpired to be nothing serious and the 10-year-old will aim for a second win in Friday’s feature - registered as the Melling Chase - having claimed victory in 2018 and finishing second to Min when the race was last run two years ago.

Nicholls also runs the classy Master Tommytucker and former Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres.

Ascot Chase winner Dashel Drasher will bid to add to his Grade One tally for trainer Jeremy Scott after proving a late absentee from the Ryanair Chase on account of the ground three weeks ago.

Nuts Well finally returns to action for Ann and Ian Hamilton, having missed several engagements since his victory over the same course and distance in the Old Roan Chase in October.

Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir d’Oudairies - a non-runner at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday - and Henry de Bromhead’s Notebook represent the all-conquering Irish team.

Itchy Feet for Olly Murphy completes the field.

Betway Top Novices' Hurdle

County Hurdle winner Belfast Banter bids to plunder another big prize on British soil as the Peter Fahy-trained Irish raider features among 10 contenders for the Grade One contest.

Jockey Kevin Sexton had given up riding two years ago before a fairy tale success aboard Belfast Banter last month - he is back on board the Cheltenham Festival winner at Aintree

Nicky Henderson’s highly-regarded Dusart has not been sighted since beating the high-class Soaring Glory on his hurdles debut in November and is bound to prove popular with punters.

The in-form Ajero bids to capture top honours and complete a fantastic five-timer for trainer Kim Bailey, while Houx Gris ran well for a long way in the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival and the four-year-old takes on his elders for Paul Nicholls.

Betway Mildmay Novices' Chase

Cheltenham Festival winner Chantry House gets the chance to build on his victory in the Marsh Novices' Chase and bolster his immpressive strike-rate over fences.

Colin Tizzard has a strong record in Grade One contests at the Randox Grand National Festival in recent years and, at his final meeting here as the outright licence holder before handing the reins over to son and assistant Joe, fields strong opposition in The Big Breakaway and Fiddlerontheroof, who both ran well behind the exciting Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.

Shan Blue steps back up to three miles after a vert forward ride behind Chantry House at Cheltenham while Silver Hallmark, Sporting John, Espoir De Romay and Empire Steel also run.

Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle

Grade One winner Bravemansgame steps up to three miles for the first time under Rules following his eclipse by Bob Olinger in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old figures among a field of 15 which includes Emmet Mullins’ Irish Cesarewitch scorer Cape Gentleman, Nicky Henderson's £450,000 recruit Gallyhill and Colin Tizzard’s Albert Bartlett runner-up Oscar Elite.

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