Wincanton: Don’t underestimate Best Boy Barney

Aintree parade ring

2.30 Aintree: Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Class 2)

It’s easy to see why Danimix is favoured to complete a hat-trick today. He was utterly impressive in his last two, for whatever reason clearly a rejuvenated horse and this race doesn’t look too deep. Question mark is a career highest mark.

Better value than the 5/2 favourite may be Grade 2 winning chaser Ely Brown. It is a concern that he didn’t complete either of his last three races, but the break will likely done him the world of good and his record as a fresh horse is remarkable. He has won twice at Aintree before and also over the 3m 1f trip.

He gets a big chance by the handicapper, having been dropped to 135 now – his last winning mark, albeit over hurdles. But judged on Novice Chase Grade 2 success, he could be leniently treated today, if he can find his old sparkle back. Top jockey is booked, so he has every chance to run well.

Ely Brown @ 6/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

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2.45 Wincanton: Handicap Chase (Class 3)

Competitive stayers contest where most of the eight starts are in with a fair chance. The “sexy” horse the Nicholls favourite Cowards Close but given the competitive nature of this race, he’s a skinny price. If According To Trev could find back to his best form, he’d be a prime selection for this race, but his last three starts are clear reason for concern.

I do like Handy Andy as the bottom weight to go well, his poor win record puts me off though. Forgotten Gold and Standing Ovation have a decent shout in this, but Best Boy Barney looks underestimated in this field.

He has been mostly competitive in his last handful or so starts, rarely goes really wrong. He won at Kempton back in April a good chase and followed up with another nice performance at the same venue when runner-up behind Champion Court – a very strong piece of form.

He didn’t quite run to the same sort of form the next two, but this here looks a bit easier, and with conditions sure to suit as well as fitness assured, he could run a big race.

Best Boy Barney @ 12/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

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