The race is a Grade 2 National Hunt chase and is a race for horses that are at least four years old.
Although being the first big chase of the season and run at The Grand National
racecourse it is not run over the national fences but is run on Aintree's "normal" Mildmay racecourse. The distance of the race is 2 miles 4 furlongs and there are 16 fences to be jumped.
For 4yo+ Weights highest weight 11st 10lb Minimum weight 10-4 Penalties after October 15th, a winner of a chase 4lb (No penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 10lb) Smad Place's Handicap Mark 167
Well a small field lines up for the 2016 Old Roan handicap chase, the 2 mile 3 furlongs race which will be run over the Mildmay course at Aintree.
Seasonal debut today for Three Musketeers a six-year-old Bay gelding trained by Dan Skelton. Three Musketeers finished off last season with a good run in the JL T novices chase at the Festival, He finished fourth that day and looked in really good form. He only managed one win last term that was a novice chase at Newbury where he won by a really good race where he travelled strongly throughout on genuinely soft ground. For a first run of the season this is a competitive event.
The Paul Nicholls team sends Vibrato Valtat to the race. A really good classy hurdler he fell at the Festival in the Ryanair chase when actually he seemed to be going well within himself. Paul Nicholls's string is just starting to get into their stride now and this is an interesting debut race for the horse.
The extremely good horse from the Willie Mullins yard, Voutour did very little wrong last year but was beaten at the Punchestown Festival by the Tom George Trained God's Own. That was achieved a short time after he'd won the grade one JL T Melling Chase at the Aintree Festival. The horse is progressing nicely and looks sure to win some good contests this year. It'll be interesting to see how we runs today against some really good opposition.
Royal Regatta from the Philip Hobbs yard had something of a mixed season last year with his only win comming in a graduation chase at Ascot. Seems to prefer Park courses like Aintree rather than the undulations of Cheltenham. The horse not without a chance but will have to find a little improvement on what we've seen so far, to be in the shakeup of this tough contest.
His third place in a top chase at the Aintree Festival shows that Third Intention can run well at this course. Ran with credit in a number of his races last year but will have to improve to be in the shakeup here.
The smart chaser from the Alan King yard, Smad Place is having his debut run of the season. The highly rated chaser he was fancied by some for the gold cup back in March at Cheltenham where he finished in sixth position. He ran well in the race and his finishing position certainly does not seem to do justice to his run. He is a top-class chaser and was fourth in the King George at Kempton around Christmas time. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up with the pace over this shorter trip, and he will have to be giving weight to all of the runners.
The 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Sire De Grugy looks to have his 2016/2017 season start here today. His best runs seemed to be around 2 miles so it will be interesting to see how he runs over this extended trip for him. A top-class horse will run well in all his races last year but having to give weight away to younger rivals over a distance which is not his best. It'll be interesting to see how well he comes back today.
|1||11416-||Smad Place||9||11-10||Alan King||Wayne Hutchinson||167|
|2||12284-||Sire De Grugy||10||11-9||Gary Moore||Jamie Moore||166|
|3||3241-1||God´s Own||8||11-9||Tom George||A P Heskin||166|
|4||334F5-||Vibrato Valtat||7||11-3||Paul Nicholls||Nick Scholfield||160|
|5||3154-||Three Musketeers||6||10-9||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton||152|
|6||65123-||Royal Regatta||8||10-7||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson||150|
|7||66434-||Third Intention||9||10-7||Colin Tizzard||Aidan Coleman||150|
|1||7||66434-||Third Intention||9||10-7||Colin Tizzard||Aidan Coleman|
|2||3||3241-1||God´s Own||8||11-9||Tom George||A P Heskin|
|3||4||334F5-||Vibrato Valtat||7||11-3||Paul Nicholls||Nick Scholfield|
|4||1||11416-||Smad Place||9||11-10||Alan King||Wayne Hutchinson|
|5||6||65123-||Royal Regatta||8||10-7||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|6||5||3154-||Three Musketeers||6||10-9||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton|
|7||2||12284-||Sire De Grugy||10||11-9||Gary Moore||Jamie Moore|
A funny sort of race this with a couple of contenders who you would expect to find the pace too hot but this was not the case for much of the race.
Smad place as expected set off in front at the start but was soon joined by Royal Regatta, with the others in the field settling down behind. Not much changed in the race until the home turn when the race got going. At the third last there was little morh than 2 lengths separating the whole field but Royal Regatta jumped the fence almost sideways, he did not really recover and finished 5th. Smad Place lost his place but stayed on to finish 4th.
At the second last Vibrato Valtat, Three Musketeers and Third intention were together. Vibrato Valtat got away from the fence much the best and soon opened up a three length advantage and Three musketeers faded quickly and finished 6th.
Sire De Grugy who was going well up to this point soon faded and finished last.
After the fence Vibrato Valtat started to idle and that allowed Third Intention to catch and pass him on the run to the final fence.
Third Intention got over and away from the last in good style and went well clear on the run in. Vibrato Valtat could not stay with him and stayed on a little one paced to finish 3rd.
Gods Own was the revelation after the last, and was very eye-catching. He made up 8 lengths on the winner to finish 2nd in really good style.
The winner Third intention just went away from the rest of the field and never really looked like getting caught before the line and was a winner but 1 3/4 of a length.