Chance du Roy rides again following lengthy absence

Chance Du Roy and Tom O Brien jump the final fence of the Grand National Course ahead of Baby Run and Sam Twiston Davies  as they go on and win the  Betfred Becher Chase during the Becher Chase Day at Aintree last year.
Chance Du Roy and Tom O Brien jump the final fence of the Grand National Course ahead of Baby Run and Sam Twiston Davies as they go on and win the Betfred Becher Chase during the Becher Chase Day at Aintree last year.
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defending champion Chance Du Roy heads a field of 25 for tomorrow’s Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree over the Grand National fences.

The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding will be having his first run since coming home in sixth place to Pineau De Re in the Crabbie’s Grand National in April.

Ballybough Gorta, fourth 12 months ago, has another crack at this handicap over three and a quarter miles.

His trainer Peter Bowen is also responsible for this year’s Scottish National hero Al Co, who has to carry top weight.

Gordon Elliott’s Troytown Chase winner Balbriggan heads a three-pronged attack from Ireland backed up by the Jim Dreaper-trained Goonyella and Tom Gibney’s Lion Na Bearnai, winner of the 2012 Irish Grand National.

Sue Smith’s Mr Moonshine could try to improve on his third place in this race last year. The horse, who runs in the colours of 2013 National hero Auroras Encore, will be ridden by five-pound claimer Daragh Bourke following Ryan Mania’s retirement.

Others in a highly-competitive line-up include Burton Port, Mendip Express, Mon Parrain, Our Father, Renard, Shakalakaboomboom and 
Oscar Time, who was second in the 2011 Grand National and fourth in 2013 for leading owner Robert Waley-Cohen and his son Sam, a leading amateur rider.

They will then be heading to Huntingdon where their well-regarded Rajdhani Express is due to reappear in the Group Two Peterborough Chase.

Nicky Henderson’s charge was an excellent third in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in the Spring, but did not get the new campaign off to the best of starts when unseating Waley-Cohen junir in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree.

He did at least complete the course in last month’s Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot.

Coral and Ayr racecourse have agreed a new five-year deal for the bookmaker to continue its backing of the Scottish Grand National.

Coral has sponsored the race since 2007 and PR director Simon Clare said: “We have forged a strong and 
dynamic partnership with Ayr Racecourse, who are a brilliant racecourse to work with, and are committed to taking this fantastic event to new heights in the years to come.”