On The Fringe (nearside) is unbeaten over the National fences
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
ON THE FRINGE could bid for an Aintree hat-trick after Enda Bolger’s popular veteran featured among 38 entries for the Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase on the opening day of the Grand National meeting on Thursday, April 6.
The 12-year-old, who has dominated the hunter chase division in recent seasons, was denied a hat-trick in Cheltenham’s version of the Foxhunter last week when Pacha Du Polder, given a textbook ride from Bryony Frost, turned the tables having been beaten both times they met last year. They could clash again as Pacha Du Polder has also been entered at Aintree.
The Foxhunters’ is restricted to amateur riders, and one who boasts a fantastic course record is Sam Waley-Cohen, who has had six winners over the big Aintree fences. He is likely to partner Black Thunder, who is part-owned by his father Robert Waley-Cohen.
Eastlake could bid to defend his Randox Health Topham Chase crown after last year’s winner was among 61 entries for the £120,000 handicap.
Robin Dickin has the option of running stable star Thomas Crapper, who followed up a wide-margin win at Newbury with a creditable fourth in the Brown Advisory Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.
Dickin said: “The Topham Chase is definitely an option for Thomas Crapper.
“I want to see how he is nearer the time before committing because he has produced two big performances in competitive handicaps in quick succession. It will either be Aintree or Cheltenham the following the week.
“He knew he had a race after Cheltenham, but he is well and eating everything. He is in good order.
There are 17 Irish entries, including seven from the Willie Mullins yard.
Both the Foxhunters’ and the Topham take place over two miles and five furlongs, with 17 fences on the Grand National course scheduled to be jumped.
Updated cards to follow shortly…
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