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Melling Chase - 4th April, 2014

Nicky Henderson's Rajdhani Express ran a cracker when finishing third behind Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the Seven Barrows raider will look to build on that fine effort on Friday afternoon when he lines up in a competitive renewal of the Melling Chase.

One of the feature events on day two of the Grand National meeting, the contest may lack a real elite name in this year's running after Sprinter Sacre eased to glory last year, but Rajdhani Express has been on a gradual incline over the last two years and deserves his shot of trying to land Grade One glory.

Tom George's Module was another placed horse at Cheltenham when finishing third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and he will look to build on that performance, whilst David Pipe's Ballynagour, who propelled to a mightily-impressive victory in the Byrne Group Plate will step up in class and will face a much stiffer test.

Wishfull Thinking is a decent performer on his day, but could only finish fifth behind Sire De Grugy in the Champion Chase and will need to improve, whilst Days Hotel and Boston Bob will spearhead the Irish challenge and the latter is of interest on a step back into the chasing sphere.

Pepite Rose was an impressive winner last time out, but she will need to improve immeasurably to land a blow at this level, whilst Rolling Aces and Rathlin add more depth to a really stiff assignment for punters to work out at Aintree on Friday.

Latest Betting for 2014 Melling Chase

4/1 Rajdhani Express

4/1 Module

11/2 Ballynagour

7/1 Wishfull Thinking

8/1 Boston Bob

9/1 Days Hotel

12/1 Pepite Rose

14/1 Rathlin

14/1 Rolling Aces

16/1 French Opera

20/1 Toner D'Oudairies

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Melling Chase History

The Melling Chase is a Grade One race run at Aintree's Grand National meeting over two miles, four furlongs for horses aged five years or older.

Established in 1991, this contest has always attracted strong fields and several horses who have competed in either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival usually head to Merseyside to try and notch up another top class victory.

Notable winners down the years include the mighty Viking Flagship who had already be crowned a dual Champion Chase winner before winning a brace of Melling Chase crowns in 1995 and 1996 for trainer David Nicholson.

Jessica Harrington's Moscow Flyer was another who was a classy winner of the Melling Chase and during his illustrious career he won countless Grade One contests including a brace of Champion Chase crowns at the Cheltenham Festival as well as winning the Melling Chase in 2004 and 2005.

Alan King's Voy Por Ustedes would be another dual winner of this contest in 2008 and 2009, but arguably the most impressive and definitely one of the classiest winners of the race came in 2011 as Master Minded stormed to a nine length victory.

Paul Nicholls' stable star misfired in the Queen Mother Champion Chase as he looked for a third crown, but was in scintillating form on Merseyside as he went clear of reigning champion Albertas Run in the closing stages to produce one of the most visually impressive victories in the Melling Chase there has ever been in its illustrious history.

Recent Winners of Melling Chase

  • 2000 - Direct Route
  • 2001 - Fadalko
  • 2002 - Native Upmanship
  • 2003 - Native Upmanship
  • 2004 - Moscow Flyer
  • 2005 - Moscow Flyer
  • 2006 - Hi Cloy
  • 2007 - Monet's Garden
  • 2008 - Voy Por Ustedes
  • 2009 - Voy Por Ustedes
  • 2010 - Albertas Run
  • 2011 - Master Minded
  • 2012 - Finian's Rainbow
  • 2013 - Sprinter Sacre
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