By Brian Hughes
Katachenko has put in a number of moderate runs since his last success here in April 2016.
He has blinkers fitted to hopefully bring back the sparkle of earlier days.
He needs to show massive improvement to get into contention.
Ballyhill and Chef D’Equipe look the main players.
Frederici, a winner of six under rules, finished fourth in this race last year, beaten by under 17 lengths.
He returns after a break of 269 days in this ultra-competitive Becher Chase and needs to be at the top of his form to play a leading role.
He has a low weight, can handle the fences and I am looking forward to a big run.
Last year’s winner Blacklion and recent Wincanton victor Present Man will provide stiff opposition.
Chica Buena is on a potential four-timer having completed her hat trick for me at Musselburgh 31 days ago.
She is a big strong filly who seems to be enjoying her racing and improving all the time.
She is working well at home and will handle the trip and going. I expect a big performance.
Giving Glances and Smiling Eliza have good winning form and will be dangerous.
Catamaran Du Seuil, a winner of four chases including his last two, was successful for me at Wetherby in January.
He returned in good form at the same track 21 days ago, scoring easily by eight lengths.
This is a good deal tougher but he is a progressive horse and should have a good each-way chance provided he takes well to the Aintree fences.
Crievehill and Warriors Tale look major threats.