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Looking forward to Saturday’s Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Bumper at Aintree

weatherbys

By Paul Ferguson

There will be a full field of 20 going to post in the final race of Aintree’s three-day Grand National meeting, the Grade 2 Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

The form of last month’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper will be represented by Jack’s Legend (finished unplaced) and Super Six, who finished fifth (beaten 13 lengths by Sir Gerhard) for Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has won this contest four times since 1998. The New One beat My Tent Or Yours in this race nine years ago as a four-year-old, on the back of finishing sixth at Cheltenham, so Super Six boasts a similar profile. Incidentally, no four-year-old has won the race since The New One.
 
Paul Nicholls took the 2019 renewal with McFabulous, and he saddles two on Saturday, Knappers Hill – ridden by his daughter Megan – and Stage Star, who finished a length behind his stable-mate when they clashed in a Listed event at Ascot in mid-December.
 
In addition to both Super Six and Knappers Hill, there are a further four two-time winners in the field, including Pressure Sensitive, who has won at Bangor-on-Dee and Wetherby. Rather surprisingly, with the exception of Grand National favourite Cloth Cap, he is the only other runner at the fixture for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, who won this race back in 2003 with Classic Native. The Gossiper is the sole Irish representative in the race, with Emmet Mullins’ six-year-old having changed ownership since winning at Wexford last month.
 
Of the less-exposed runners, Balco Coastal – who is one of two runners for trainer Nicky Henderson – created a very good impression when beating a subsequent winner on the all-weather at Kempton, having earlier chased home the smart Gentlemansgame an Irish Point-to-Point.
 
And, Olly Murphy is another trainer who saddles two, with Go Dante looking full of potential when making a successful racecourse debut at Wincanton last month.