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Horse Racing Tips: Robbie Wilders' Grand Sefton Handicap Chase @ Aintree tips

Jumps fans get a first sight of the National fences this season with the Grand Sefton Chase taking centre stage at Aintree on Saturday. Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post provides three selections.

1.01 Aintree

Lisnagar Oscar @ 11/1

1pt each-way

2.11 Aintree

Spiritofthegames @ 10/1

1pt each-way

2.45 Aintree

Brewin'upastorm @ 6/5

2pts win

Lisnagar can roll back the years

Races in the Pertemps qualifying series are always a conundrum for punters as you never know which runners are ready and this contest (1.01) is no different.

At the weights and prices, I quite like Lisnagar Oscar each-way, providing the eight runners stand their ground.

This Rebecca Curtis-trained nine-year-old enjoyed his finest hour when springing a major shock in the 2020 Stayers' Hurdle, but has yet to score since.

However, he ran well in defeat on a number of occasions, including when third to the classy Brewin'upastorm in the 2m4f hurdle race later on this card last season.

The 2m4f trip that day was way too sharp for Lisnagar Oscar, but it wasn't a bad run by any means with smart hurdlers Martello Sky, Summerville Boy and Wilde About Oscar in behind.

After pulling up the last twice, Lisnagar Oscar has dropped to his lowest mark in years and first time out may be the time to catch him over his ideal three-mile trip. His record after breaks is decent.

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Spirit to be rewarded for consistency

I can't help but be drawn to Spiritofthegames in the Grand Sefton (2.11), given the fact bet365 is offering four places.

This 10-year-old has crafted a reputation for staying on late to place in some of the best big-field handicap chases in the calendar, and warmed up for this with a fine second at Fakenham in October over a three-mile trip that stretches him.

Better can be expected on his second outing dropped in trip as he should strip fitter for the run. It is also encouraging that the third in the Fakenham race bolted up by 10 lengths on Thursday.

Dan Skelton's stable stalwart has proved he retains all his ability and I find it hard to imagine him finishing out of the first four with a clear round. He has also run well over the National fences in the past, shaping slightly better than the result when fifth in the Topham in April.

Another storm brewing at Aintree

There is a case to be made that Brewin'upastorm should be odds-on for the 2.45 - race number five on the card - and he represents a bit of early value.

Last season's winner arguably faces an easier task than when a dominant nine-length scorer of this in 2021 and receives 4lb from his chief market rival Langer Dan, who is officially rated 10lb lower.

I'm surprised there isn't a greater disparity between the pair in the market. This is a completely different kettle of fish to the handicap Langer Dan landed over this course and distance off a mark of 137 at the Grand National meeting in April. It has also been suggested that Langer Dan's future lies over three miles.

Brewin'upastorm is top class on his day, is ideally suited to this 2m4f trip and should take this a shade cosily en route to better things.

My selection should also have the measure of Dashel Drasher, who is a better chaser and probably needs a bog over this trip, which he is unlikely to get.

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