Many Clouds Chase: Noble Yeats returns to Aintree
Grand National winner Noble Yeats is one of six declared for Saturday’s Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.
Trained by Emmet Mullins, he showed no ill effects from a disappointing trip to France earlier in the season when winning at Wexford last time out but he faces much sterner opposition this weekend.
Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor may have run well below form on his reappearance in the Charlie Hall but he has two Grade Ones to his credit, over both hurdles and fences, at Aintree and is the 6/5 favourite in the Many Clouds Chase betting odds.
Nicky Henderson’s Chantry House, Ruth Jefferson’s Sounds Russian and Anthony Honeyball’s Sam Brown have also been declared.
— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) November 30, 2022
The last of the Many Clouds Chase runners is Dashel Drasher, trained by Jeremy Scott, who won over hurdles at the track in November but is set to head back over fences before options in both spheres are likely to be explored later in the season.
He had been due to run at Newbury last week in the Long Distance Hurdle but fast ground ruled him out. He holds an entry in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 17, but Scott is fearful of the long-term forecast.
He said: “We have been really pleased with him since he last ran and are just in search of his ground really, but we need to run him again. My worry is, although he has an entry in the Long Walk, the forecast isn’t great going forward.
“He seems to like Aintree and, at the moment, if the ground stays similar to how it is, that will pretty much be the plan.
“The owners and us are keen to see him run over a bit more of a trip, because the three-mile hurdling division does not look as strong as some of the others.”
Though he will line up for the Grade Two chase, the Brompton Regis handler hopes he can still develop into a crack staying hurdler, even with a mid-term target of the Grade One Ascot Chase in February on the radar, a race he won in 2021.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 23, 2021
“Three miles over hurdles, if all went well, opens up all sorts of opportunities for us, given that we are reasonably ground dependent, and it might just make him easier to place going forward,” added Scott.
“The Grade One Ascot Chase is very much in our thinking, but we’ll need God to water the course.
“It is so frustrating. Newbury would have been perfect really. We could have run there and then make a call on what we would do for the rest of the season.
“He would have had no penalties there, whereas you go to the Long Walk and everybody is off level weights. It is not ideal, but it is what it is and we’ll have to make the best of it.
“I walked Newbury pretty carefully and if we’d have had an inch of rain on it, I don’t think it would have softened that much, because you go down two inches and it is still a sponge. It is soaking it all up.
“It will take a huge amount of water to make it what I’d consider to be proper winter ground – and it will come, eventually.”
A total of 23 have been declared for the Becher Handicap Chase including last year’s first and second, Snow Leopardess and Hill Sixteen.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Having proved his liking for the famous National fences last month, and with this test of stamina expected to suit, Gesskille now heads the betting to go one place better in Saturday’s Becher Chase.”
Many Clouds Chase odds
6/5 Ahoy Senor
9/2 Sounds Russian
5/1 Chantry House, Noble Yeats
9/1 Sam Brown
12/1 Dashel Drasher
Becher Chase odds
5/1 Ashtown Lad
8/1 Captain Kangaroo
12/1 Snow Leopardess, Hill Sixteen
14/1 De Rasher Counter, Five Star Getaway, The Wolf
16/1 Dr Kananga, Fantastikas, Recite A Prayer
20/1 Cloth Cap, Fortescue, Percussion
22/1 Didero Vallis
28/1 The Jam Man
33/1 Fagan, Francky Du Berlais, Now Where Or When
40/1 Domaine De L’Isle
50/1 Minella Bobo, Rapid Flight
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication