Aintree

  • 15:05 John Smith's Melling Chase 2m 4f

  • Winner £112,540 2nd £42,400 3rd £21,220 4th £10,600
  • Going: Good (Good to Soft in places; National: Good to Soft, Good in places)
  • Surface: Turf

Result

  • Weighed In

  • Winning time: 5m 6.20s
  • Off time: 15:05:49
15:05 Aintree Racecards
No Draw Dist
1st Sprinter Sacre (FR) 1/3
2nd Cue Card 7/1

Racecard

No Form Silk Horse A Wgt Trainer Jockey OR SP
1 12-1511 ROYAL BLUE, PINK star on body and cap, ROYAL BLUE sleeves, PINK stars Cue Card 22
Nag meDistance WinnerCourse and Distance Winner
7 11-10 C L Tizzard J Tizzard 170 7/18.00
2 1211-46 White, black cap Finian's Rainbow (IRE) 48
Nag meCourse WinnerDistance WinnerCourse and Distance Winner
10 11-10 N J Henderson A P McCoy 173 16/117.00
3 11-1132 White and red diamonds, white sleeves, white cap, maroon diamonds Flemenstar (IRE) 55
Nag meBeaten FavouriteDistance Winner
8 11-10 P Casey A E Lynch 170 7/18.00
4 13-1253 Red, pink hoop and armlets For Non Stop (IRE) 22
Nag meDistance WinnerCourse and Distance Winner
8 11-10 Nick Williams N D Fehily 160 33/134.00
5 R3042R LIGHT BLUE, ORANGE epaulets Mad Moose (IRE) 22
Nag meDistance Winner
9 11-10 b N A Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 143 80/181.00
6 111-111 Red, Royal Blue chevrons, armlets and star on cap Sprinter Sacre (FR) 23
Nag meCourse Winner
7 11-10 N J Henderson B J Geraghty 188 1/31.33

Verdict

This is Sprinter Sacre's first try over 2m4f over fences and he suffered his one and only defeat under Rules over the longer trip over hurdles. He's in a league of his own over 2m but CUE CARD, whom he beat by seven lengths in last year's Arkle, will test his stamina here and we fancy Colin Tizzard's classy Ryanair Chase winner to upset the apple cart. Flemenstar is Ireland's best chaser over this trip and beat Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs in a Grade 1 at Punchestown in December. The placings were reversed over 3m last time but Peter Casey's charge can't be ignored. Former champion chaser and last year's winner Finian's Rainbow has been a big disappointment this season, however, and For Non Stop was well behind the selection in the Ryanair. Mad Moose is a bit of a character and refused to race at Cheltenham having earlier being well beaten by Sprinter Sacre at the same track.