Grand Sefton Handicap Chase Tips: Lifetime Ambition to throw name into Grand National picture with win

Could a Grand National contender emerge from the Grand Sefton at Aintree?
Could a Grand National contender emerge from the Grand Sefton at Aintree?

A hugely competitive field will tackle Aintree's unique Grand National fences on Saturday afternoon, as the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase takes centre stage at the iconic Merseyside venue. Our man Steve Chambers previews the big race here, and feels a contender could well turn into a potential Grand National candidate with a win here...

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Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of this race in three of the last nine years and the Ditcheat maestro will attempt to land the prize once again on Saturday with Broken Halo, who heads to Liverpool on the back of smart novice chasing campaign last season. A facile 17-length win at Fontwell on his last start in March, the seven-year-old will line up off 137 here and that could be favourable, should he improve on his two chase wins today. The 7/2 market leader, at the time of writing, Broken Halo is an unexposed type, but it's hard to see him turning into a potential Grand National horse for April.

One that does fit that bill is Jessica Harrington's LIFETIME AMBITION, who looks over-priced at 9/1 for this contest, and with odds of 50/1 available for the Grand National next spring, then the Irish raider can throw his name into the Aintree picture with a win here. He was a Grade 3-winning novice chaser last season, and he was last seen finishing a fine runner-up to the classy Capodanno in a Grade 1 novice chase at the Punchestown Festival, which is red-hot form.

This race rarely throws up a potential Grand National candidate, but Lifetime Ambition is a fascinating runner here off a high mark of 151 as he has shown to be a real classy performer over the larger obstacles for the Harrington team, who rarely send one across the Irish Sea without a chance, and if he was to take to the test of the Aintree obstacles then the 9/1 looks phenomenal. It could be that this trip is a little on the short side, but he was a winner over 2m 3f last season, so he should have enough speed to deal with his rivals here. 

A really exciting second season chaser, Lifetime Ambition will be taking on some proven yardsticks in this sort of event, but he could just bring that class element to the race and he can duly storm into the Grand National picture with a classy win in what should be a thriller.

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Kim Bailey knows what it takes to win a Grand National have saddled Mr Frisk to glory over three decades ago and he will hand Two For Gold his third tilt around the National course. However, the top-weighted nine-year-old has failed to complete on his last two efforts - including in last year's Grand National when he was pulled up - but he is a real top notch chaser on his day and has to be respected at 13/2.

Last year's winner Mac Tottie got the better of Senior Citizen and the latter of that pair will line up looking to go one better this weekend. Alan King's nine-year-old (7/1) will take his chance off a 1lb higher mark in this year's contest, so the Barbury Castle inmate has to come into calculations as he's likely to be one that can comfortably get his way round.

Of the others, Al Dancer (7/1) has put up some bold efforts in quality handicap chases in recent times, but has struggled to get his head in front at times, and while he's an intriguing runner here he could just come up short, while the likes of Spiritofthegames, Jacamar and the lightly-weighted Cooper's Cross could just lack the class needed to deal with a horse of the calibre of Lifetime Ambition, who can roar into the Grand National picture with a win here.

14:11 Aintree - Boylesports Best Odds Guaranteed On Racing Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
Lifetime Ambition silk

Lifetime Ambition

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Grand National Odds
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