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AINTREE PREVIEW | Friday’s racing

A seven-race card at Aintree kicks off the weekend on Friday evening

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Many Clouds ridden by Leighton Aspell celebrates winning the Crabbie's Grand National Chase on Grand National Day of the Crabbies Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool.
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Jumps racing returns to Aintree for the first time since the Grand National meeting, with seven races scheduled at the Merseyside track on Friday evening.

The action kicks off at 5.20, with the card concluding at 8.35.

Aintree
Racing action returns to Aintree for the first time since the Grand National back in April

The Class 2 Cleanevent Handicap Steeple Chase holds several interesting entries, including Nicky Henderson’s Versatility who grabbed the headlines at Kempton on his last outing.

The seven-year-old was four lengths clear of his rivals as he tackled the last fence, looking assured of victory as he touched 1.01 on the Betfair Exchange.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nicky Henderson will be hoping Versatility can return to form at Aintree

But he stumbled in the run-in and unseated his rider in the run-in, handing victory to Psychedelic Rock.

The gelding will be hoping to put that mistake behind here and he faces a tough field which includes veterans Minellacelebration, Sir Ivan and Potters Legend.

Pertemps Final contender No Comment will be aiming to bounce back to form at Aintree, as Phillip Hobbs’ servant holds an entry in the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle.

Fergal O’Brien’s consistent sort Courtandbould makes his return after a six-month break, while Proschema will be hoping to follow up his Cheltenham success at the April Meeting with another victory here.

Trainer Fergal O'Brien at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, Bangor-on-Dee.
Fergal O’Brien has two runners on the Aintree card on Friday

Militarian is stepped back down in class after his Grade 1 appearance in the Betway Bowl last month, as he heads a nine-strong field in the Class 3 2m4f Handicap Chase.

Andrew Martin’s runner finished the last of four in the Grade 2 Oaksey Chase on his last outing and the veteran could bounce back to winning ways here.

Dr Richard Newland
Dr Richard Newland will be hoping Captain Tom Cat makes a winning start over fences at Aintree

Captain Tom Cat makes his debut over fences for Dr Richard Newland, while Jonjo O’Neill’s Maypole Class returns after being pulled up in the Grade 3 Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.

Kimmis will be looking to show further progress under Henderson in the 2m4f maiden hurdle, while O’Brien’s Onagatheringstorm heads a field of four in the 3m½f Novices’ Hurdle. 

David Pipe’s Panic Attack will be aiming to revive her past form with success in the 2m4f Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, while intriguing Point winner Foxinthebox makes his rules debut for Olly Murphy in the Class 3 Bumper.

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