Stacked Melling Chase To Light Up Grand National Meeting
The Grand National is of course the highlight of the three day meeting at Aintree but there is some stunning racing to look forward to before that with the Melling Chase on Friday a potentially mouth-watering prospect. The Grade 1 2m4f contest is looking like one of the very best of the entire season with a stellar cast list of ten horses set to go down to post on Friday afternoon.
Among those declared for the Melling are Champagne Fever, Al Ferof, Sire De Grugy, Don Cossack, Balder Succes and Cue Card with all six of those horses currently at 7/1 or under for the race. Sire De Grugy, Champagne Fever, Al Ferof and Cue Card are top class former Cheltenham Festival winners, while Don Cossack has been among the best in Ireland this season and Balder Succes is himself a Grade 1 winner who is more than capable of mixing it with these boys.
Champagne Fever missed his run in the Ryanair Chase last month after picking up a minor injury and the Willie Mullins horse expected to start a slight favourite. The grey is a former winner of the Supreme Novices Hurdle and he ran well for a long way before tiring in the King George over Christmas with this 2m4f trip now thought to be his ideal distance.
Cue Card is returning from an injury lay-off but his form over the past few years is second to almost none and has to he respected at this trip, while Sire De Grugy was the brilliant winner of the Champion Chase in 2014 and is being stepped up after he could inly manage 4th in defence of that crown last month. Like most of these horses, Sire De Grugy will love the decent ground although doubts remain about his ability to return to his very best which means he looks a big price.
Al Ferof is another one of these who has been up and down the distances and he was last seen placed in the King George but most believe that 2m4f is where he can be seen to best impact. He will want decent ground as well and has been mixing it at this level for years now, while Don Cossack and Balder Succes bring with them rock solid form from this season and they both have fitness and solid chances on their side. The Melling Chase this season promises to be one of the highlights of the entire winter with so many top quality horses set to clash and we for one can't wait for Friday afternoon.