A 23-runner hunters’ chase over the National fences may seem like an odd place to go searching for a ‘good thing’, but On The Fringe has 9lb and upwards in hand of his rivals on official ratings and can win this race for the second year running. Enda Bolger’s 11-year-old only won the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by a neck, but never looked like being overhauled in the closing stages and can confirm the form with those who finished behind him, including fifth-placed Pacha Du Polder. The Exit To Nowhere gelding is equally effective at this shorter distance, as he demonstrated by very easily drawing clear of Pacha Du Polder on the run-in last year to win by 3¾ lengths.
On The Fringe has apparently recovered well from his Cheltenham exertions and, while the absence of his regular partner Nina Carberry – handed a seven-day whip ban for her winning ride in the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Chase – is a slight negative, Jamie Codd is a perfectly able deputy. Pacha Du Polder will, no doubt, benefit from the stronger handling of William Biddick, who replaces Victoria Pendleton but, on balance, preference must be for On The Fringe, who looks fair value at around 7/4 in the early price lists to complete a second Cheltenham-Aintree double.
Selection: Aintree 4.05 On The Fringe to win