Theatre Guide has been given a chance by the handicapper and looks sure to go well in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase over the famous Grand National fences.
Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old finished third in the Hennessy two seasons ago but has been fairly lightly raced since due to one reason or another.
He has stood up to his racing pretty well in the second half of the season but after a promising comeback at Kempton, where he dead-heated with Fox Appeal at Kempton, he has ultimately been disappointing.
However, on closer scrutiny there are viable excuses for each defeat.
At Cheltenham behind Many Clouds in the BetBright Cup he loomed up going well turning into the straight before getting tired on his first run for three months, perfectly understandable.
Upped in class then for the Ascot Chase, he ran well for a long way but ended up making the running and just made a slight mistake when the pace quickened and was immediately on the back foot.
Then at Cheltenham, back up in trip, he jumped and travelled beautifully before seemingly not getting home behind The Druids Nephew so the drop in trip should be in his favour.
Crucially, the handicapper dropped him 5lb for that run to a mark of 142 and given he was placed in the Hennessy off 145 he has to go close if the ability remains intact.
Two and a half miles around the Mildmay course should be perfect for Champagne Fever in the Betfred Melling Chase.
Willie Mullins was disappointed that he was prevented from running his grey in the Queen Mother at Cheltenham, as the dual Cheltenham Festival winner was bitten on the lip by a stablemate in transit.
But as the general consensus is that Champagne Fever is at his very best when fresh, and he had won the Red Mills Chase barely three weeks before Cheltenham, it surely enhances his chance in this.
* Selections -
Aintree: 1.40 The Saint James, 2.15 Glingerburn, 2.50 CAROLE’S DESTRIER (NAP), 3.25 Champagne Fever, 4.05 Theatre Guide, 4.40 Alpha Des Obeaux, 5.15 Barters Hill.
Fontwell: 1.55 Willem, 2.30 Bertenbar, 3.05 Taylor, 3.40 Romeo Americo, 4.15 Epsom Flyer, 4.50 Right Step, 5.25 Brown Bear.
Leicester: 1.30 Jammy Guest, 2.05 Twisting Hay, 2.40 Margot Rose, 3.15 Justice Good, 3.50 Oceanographer, 4.25 Journey, 5.00 Hanno.
Wolverhampton: 5.50 Black Truffle, 6.20 Trending, 6.50 Hopes N Dreams, 7.20 Yorkshireman, 7.50 My Mo, 8.20 Al’s Memory, 8.50 Gothic Empire, 9.20 Day Of The Eagle.
Double: Carole’s Destrier and Champagne Fever.