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16:15 Aintree: At Fishers Cross looks to see off an unexposed field

| 05.04.2013

At Fishers Cross made it five from his last five in the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and this could become another stepping-stone on his way to stardom.

Rebecca Curtis’ classy stayer, currently favourite at 5/4, looks to have all the necessary ingredients to become a future Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner and will be looking to confirm Cheltenham form here.

One of a plethora of impressive novice performances at Prestbury Park, the six-year-old had Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge African Gold four-and-a-half lengths behind in that race, after staying-on extremely well and drawing clear of his rivals.

African Gold misses this race, but Twiston-Davies still has a very good chance with Coral Cup fourth Master Of The Sea at 8/1. Prior to that race, he had won his last four starts over the timber and may have gone closer had he not blundered at the last.

Twiston-Davies also knows what it takes to win this race having triumphed in 1999 and 2008. In the former, King’s Road managed to put Cheltenham disappointment behind him after finishing fourth in what is now the Albert Bartlett.

Fans of At Fishers Cross could also be concerned that the last horse who looked to follow up a Neptune victory with this race was Weapon’s Amnesty in 2009, who ultimately finished a disappointing fifth.

And, it is often those who swerve the Festival who do well in this race, with three of the last four winners opting not to go to Prestbury Park, of which Roads To Riches looks the pick at 6/1.

Noel Meade’s charge is thoroughly unexposed and undefeated in Rules. On his last start, he bagged a Grade Three novice hurdle at Cork and if it were not for a blunder at the last, he would have won by an extremely impressive distance.

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Matthew Mower