Sam Twiston-Davies is looking to continue his family’s successful association at Aintree with Ballyoptic and Flying Angel among his rides on Saturday.
Ballyoptic heads for the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase which Twiston-Davies won in 2010 and 2012 on Hello Bud, trained by his father, Nigel.
The nine-year-old will be trying to put in a clear round over the Grand National course after falling in the last two runnings of the world’s greatest steeplechase.
Ballyoptic heads back to Merseyside just a fortnight after finishing last of four behind Lostintranslation in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, but he won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on his previous start.
“It’s a meeting dad likes to have runners at and it’s a meeting close to his heart, so we’ll go up there and try,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing.
“Ballyoptic would have only run two weeks ago on Saturday so it might be a tough ask, but Zac Baker does a lot of work with him at home and says he’s bouncing.
“If he says that, I’ll take his word for it he’s right, but sometimes you don’t know until you get them to the track.”
Twiston-Davies has high hopes for Flying Angel in the Virgin Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.
The eight-year-old grey won the Grade One Manifesto Novices’ Chase over the Mildmay fences in April 2017 and has completed the course in the last two runnings of the Topham Chase over the Grand National obstacles.
“We’ve got Flying Angel as well. He was back to form last time which was great,” he said.
“He goes on any ground, he stays well. You’d have to be hopeful he’d run well.
“He’s been round there before so you hope it’s not going to be a massive field. You can still get a little bit of space and into a rhythm.”