Frodon all set for Old Roan defence at Aintree

Betfair Chase possible after this weekend.

  • Monday 21 October
  • News
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Frodon and Bryony Frost will face a maximum of nine rivals as they head for the defence of their Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase crown at Aintree.

Horse and jockey signposted their brilliant Grade One-winning 2018/19 season by winning Sunday’s prestigious limited handicap for Paul Nicholls 12 months ago.

They followed that Grade Two success with three victories in four visits to Cheltenham, culminating in a memorable triumph at the top level in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival in March.

Nicholls reports Frodon on target to run this weekend, en route to a likely shot at next month’s Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock.

The champion trainer said on Monday: “He is in good shape, and the plan at the moment is to run at Aintree.

“Bryony schooled him over fences this morning, and that was ideal. He has probably schooled a two or three times over fences this season.

“I think I will probably go to the Betfair Chase afterwards, but that is not set in stone.

“It is the sort of track that if the ground was not too bad would suit him well.”

There are some intriguing contenders among Frodon’s possible rivals, following the publication of this weekend’s 10 entries.

Harry Whittington’s Saint Calvados may face a move up in trip, having won first time out for each of the past two seasons since joining the Oxfordshire stable and with two Graded two-mile chase successes already on his CV.

Whittington could also run Bigmartre, who returned to form in April with an emphatic win at Perth.

Amy Murphy’s Kalashnikov is another in the reckoning, after ending last season with a resurgent win over course and distance from the high-class La Bague Au Roi in the Grade One Manifesto Novices’ Chase.

Richard Newland’s Mcgroarty, another potentially up in trip, will be on a four-timer if he takes his chance after completing his hat-trick at Kelso this month.

Dan Skelton’s Born Survivor won twice at Listed level in handicaps last season, while the lightly-raced Go Long may represent Evan Williams.

Completing the possible field are Brian Ellison’s Forest Bihan, Flying Angel from Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard – who was sixth in this race last year – and dual Topham Chase winner Ultragold for Colin Tizzard.

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