As one would expect for the money on offer, a competitive field likely to be assembled for this sought-after prize, and while you’d be a brave man to push forward the case for a strong bet to be advised, CAPTAIN REDBEARD (best price 7-1) has enough in his favour to suggest he’s worth a small each-way interest.

Disappointing last time out over the big fences at Aintree, Stuart Coltherd’s 10-year-old is probably better judged on his form around today’s track and his performance previously when a gallant third to Vintage Clouds in a 3m 2f handicap chase back in December is a stronger barometer to his qualities. Indeed, that effort wouldn’t be the first time that the son of Bach has shone at the Merseyside venue and it’s also worth noting that he was runner-up to a rejuvenated The Dutchman in this race twelve months ago. Usually a strong traveller his races, that way of going is always likely to carry him into the business end of his races, and with his overall form figures over the course now reading an impressive 312123, the expectation of another place finish at the very least is by no means a bold viewpoint to take where this mud-lover is concerned.


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