God’s Own set for Old Roan run
View from connections ahead of the 188Bet Monet's Garden Old Roan Handicap Chase at Aintree on Sunday.
God's Own has had a nice preparation
Tom George would love to see God's Own pick up where he left off last term as he tackles the 188Bet Monet's Garden Old Roan Handicap Chase at Aintree on Sunday.
The eight-year-old was doing his best work late on when fourth behind Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
He then took full advantage of a fall by Vautour to land the Melling Chase at this venue before beating that rival fair and square at Punchestown.
"He's in good form, has had a nice preparation and should enjoy the good ground," said George.
"You can't ask for much more than to finish off last season running well in the Champion Chase and then winning two Grade One races, so he certainly had a nice spring and he's had a good break.
"You only have to look at his record to see how much he enjoys the spring, but he does also have some good wins at this time of year and he has been working well."
Three Musketeers was third to Nichols Canyon in a Grade One novice hurdle here 18 months ago and closed last season with a fine fourth to Black Hercules in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
With just seven races under rules on his card, it is easy to see why many believe Dan Skelton's six-year-old has more scope than most in this contest.
The trainer said: "We could really do with some rain but I'm sure they will keep the ground nice with the calibre of horse they are trying to attract. He's fit and well and we hope he progresses through the season."
Gary Moore gives 2014 Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy a warm-up spin in preparation for a crack at a third Tingle Creek success at Sandown, as long as the going is suitable.
The trainer told Betway: "He is in really good form. The only potential problem is the ground as we are in desperate need of some rain. Good to soft would be fine, but any quicker than that would be a worry.
"His preparation has been good. He's working better than this time last year and has come back really strong. I couldn't be happier with him.
"I'm just really keen to get a run into him before the Tingle Creek at Sandown as it worked last year and will hopefully work again."
Alan King will have one eye on Smad Place defending his Hennessy Gold Cup crown at Newbury next month.
The trainer said: "He needs a prep and, while this two and a half miles may be a bit sharp for him, the Old Roan Chase does not look quite as hot as the Charlie Hall at Wetherby next week, so we have opted to start back here.
"It won't be easy for Smad Place this year as he's not really good enough to take on the top horses at level weights, so we'll have to duck and dive a bit.
"But the old horse seems in good form and, whatever happens, none of us will ever forget last year's Hennessy. He gave us a moment or two to savour that day."
Vibrato Valtat was well beaten by both Sire De Grugy and God's Own off level weights last term but does get a nice 6lb pull this time.
Paul Nicholls said: "He's just shy of top Grade One form, so it is always a touch hard for him. But he always gives a good account of himself and he's a tough, genuine horse who gives his owners plenty of fun."
The consistent Royal Regatta is rated as "another between conditions chases and handicaps" by Philip Hobbs, while Third Intention has also found it tough in elite company, but both are at the right end of the weights this weekend.
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