While Saturday’s Grand National is sure to be the main attraction on Merseyside, the John Smith's Melling Chase on Ladies' Day could well steal the show with Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card and Flemenstar all set to clash in an unbelievable renewal of the Grade One contest. —
The 2m4f showpiece remains the target for the three superstar chasers and after Sprinter Sacre’s unbelievable display in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he is likely to be a very short-priced favourite for the race.
However, Cue Card was also a very impressive winner of the Ryanair Chase at Prestbury Park and trainer Colin Tizzard is confident that his stable flagbearer can run a massive race at Aintree.
He explained: "Cue Card is on course for the John Smith's Melling Chase. He did some fast work today and he couldn't be in better form.
"I'd say it was one of his best performances at Cheltenham but he was very good at Ascot and his win in the Haldon Gold Cup was right up there.
"He has had one blip all season and that was in the King George but I don't think he was quite right myself. Horses aren't machines and you need everything to be 100 per cent in these championship races and I don't think he was on song that day.
"He has been top-class in his three other performances this season and has been as good as nearly everything else racing.
"I think the John Smith's Melling Chase is shaping up to be a very, very good race if all three of them turn up. We have avoided Sprinter Sacre once already this year but this is over two and a half miles, which is Cue Card's trip.”
Also lining up will be Irish raider Flemenstar who missed out on a trip to Cheltenham with an injury sustained in his Hennessy defeat to Sir Des Champs. The Grade One winner has been contesting races over three miles this season and he is sure to relish the drop in trip.
All of the latest news ahead of the 2013 Aintree Grand National meeting can be found on the Grand National Tips Facebook page.
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