15:05 Aintree – Albertas Run to defend Melling crown
Jonjo O’Neill believes that Albertas Run will take all the beating in the Melling Chase and it is hard to oppose last year’s winner landing the spoils again.
Albertas Run is certainly at his best towards the end of the season, as he proved when winning the Ryanair Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
The ten-year-old is 4/1 in the Aintree odds and is looking to replicate the same Ryanair Chase and Melling Chase double that he accomplished last year.
There are a number of statistics that sit in the favour of Albertas Run, most notably that four horses since 1991 have successfully returned to defend their crown.
Furthermore, the Ryanair Chase has thrown up four of the last five victors, while one of the top two in the betting have been responsible for 12 of the last 16 victories.
Kalahari King is likely to lay down the biggest challenge at 9/2, as he did when finishing second at Cheltenham.
The one trend that goes against the Kalahari King is that no horse has ever won the Melling Chase after being beaten in the race before.
However, it may be slightly unfair to label Kalahari King in this bracket as he only cleared one obstacle 12 months ago before falling.
Master Minded is sure to be a favourite of many punters at 4/1 and trainer Paul Nicholls said the horse wanted further when disappointing in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
But the fact he has never won over 2m4f before is a massive negative.
Somersby is another lively each-way contender at 11/2, although only two of the last 26 horses aged seven or younger to attempt the race have claimed victory.
Therefore, slight preference in the each-way market is for Tranquil Sea at 6/1, who seems to have rediscovered his best form this season with back-to-back victories.
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