Run leads Melling field

Albertas Run will face nine rivals as he attempts to pull off the Cheltenham-Aintree double for the second successive year in the John Smith’s Melling Chase.

Albertas Run will face nine rivals as he attempts to pull off the Cheltenham-Aintree double for the second successive year in the John Smith’s Melling Chase.

Jonjo O’Neill’s 10-year-old won the Ryanair Chase last season before running away with this contest and after bouncing back to his best at Cheltenham, he will have plenty of followers again.

Master Minded steps up in trip having been outpaced in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

He was beaten by Voy Por Ustedes, a surprising absentee, way back in 2008 in this event and trainer Paul Nicholls has kept to shorter distances since.

Edward O’Grady’s Tranquil Sea was forced to miss the Ryanair after a late setback but has recovered in time to take on Albertas Run here.

Kalahari King was a fast-finishing second in the Ryanair and he reopposes again while fans of Henrietta Knight’s Somersby will be pleased to see him race over two and a half miles again with Robert Thornton in the plate.

In the absence of Voy Por Ustedes, Nicky Henderson runs French Opera and Mad Max.

Chaninbar, Tartak and Made In Taipan complete the field.

Voy Por Ustedes, who also won this race in 2009 when he was trained by Alan King, is to wait for the Punchestown Festival early next month.

The 10-year-old made a pleasing comeback after 11 months off the track when fifth in the Ryanair on his first start since joining the Henderson stable.

“We‘re going to leave him and probably go to Ireland with him for the three-mile-one chase at Punchestown,” said Barry Simpson, racing manager for owner Robert Ogden.

“We were looking at the race and thought it wasn‘t absolutely ideal for him so we‘ve given it a miss.”

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