14:15 Aintree: Overturn looks to emerge from Simonsig’s shadow
The McCain family’s love affair with Aintree is already so well documented, and whilst winners on Grand National day are always sought in a certain other race, it could be that the Maghull Novices’ Chase offers the best chance of one for them here.
Donald McCain saddles the 9/4 Overturn almost five weeks after he saw his nine-year-old charge blown away by Simonsig in the Arkle Chase in front of an impressed Cheltenham Festival crowd.
The challenge of keeping up with Nicky Henderson’s winning machine eventually saw Overturn tire and slip back into fourth there, as he was passed by the unfancied Baily Green and His Excellency – who had gone off at 33/1 and 80/1 respectively.
Amongst this company Overturn could shine though.
As the gelding seeks to return to form which saw him record 2m and 2m3f wins at Sandown, Doncaster and Musselburgh in the build-up to the Festival, McCain and jockey Jason Maguire will no doubt be thankful that Simonsig and, since the withdrawal of Captain Conan, also Henderson are nowhere to be seen here.
That old acquaintance Baily Green is around though, with Irish trainer Mouse Morris now seeing his charge cut to 11/4 following that strong Arkle challenge which surprised so many.
The seven-year-old recorded a seven-timer on courses across Ireland earlier this season, but finishing just two-and-a-quarter lengths off Simonsig at Prestbury Park can surely be regarded as a better indicator of his quality.
A bold grey, Baily Green may look to go off forcefully, and that might just play into Overturn’s hands.
Without Henderson’s charges around it could be that Overturn will be primed to strike in a contest which is seemingly dominated by a name who is not listed.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing