Richard Johnson believes his Ladbrokes Trophy mount Thomas Patrick has plenty in his favour for the feature handicap.
Trained by Tom Lacey, the six-year-old progressed at a rate of knots last season, culminating with a victory at the Grand National meeting in April.
He made a pleasing comeback at Sandown earlier this month when caught close home by Colin Tizzard’s reopposing Elegant Escape, but he has a 5lb turn around at the weights with that rival.
“I think he’s got a great chance – the more of this rain the better,” the champion jockey told At The Races.
“It was a lovely comeback at Sandown, but the ground wouldn’t have been ideal. The softer the ground last year, the better he ran – obviously he finished last year when he won a competitive handicap at Aintree as a novice, so I’m hoping he keeps on going the right way.
“I’d won on him at Newbury the time before that, so he’s got form around Newbury as well.
“He’s just a really likeable horse. He’s very straightforward, he stays forever, so if we get the soft ground it should suit him really well.
“As a season-season novice, he looks the right type – you’d hope he’s still improving. Some of the others are more exposed. It’s very competitive, but I wouldn’t swap him.”