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Last Updated: 03/04/14 12:09pm
Double Ross: Topham hopeful
Views from connections ahead of the Crabbie's Supporting Everton In The Community Topham Chase at Aintree on Friday.
Nigel Twiston-Davies is convinced Double Ross will relish the challenge of competing over the Grand National fences in the Crabbie's Supporting Everton In The Community Topham Chase at Aintree on Friday.
The Naunton handler understandably has high hopes for the eight-year-old chestnut, who has been in terrific form this season.
Double Ross has won two big Grade Three handicaps at Cheltenham this winter and was last seen finishing third in the JLT Novices' Chase at the Festival in March.
Twiston-Davies said: "I'm sure he'll take to the fences. He's a very good jumper and he should be fine.
"He's done very well this season."
Paul Fahey hopes the ground does not deteriorate too much for He'llberemembered, a solid third in the Carrickmines Handicap at Leopardstown in March.
The County Kildare handler said: "He's won on ground ranging from good to firm, to soft and heavy.
"He struggles with a trip in very deep ground and I think he is probably best on better ground.
"He will be my first runner over the Grand National fences and it is all very exciting."
Irish interests have also been bolstered by the presence of You Must Know Me, who, in contrast to He'llberemembered, would be better suited if the heavens opened.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead said: "He ran well when third in the Grand Sefton and it's the same course and distance.
"The more ease in the ground, the more it will benefit him."
Tom George believes the Topham's two-mile-five-furlong distance puts Aintree veteran Big Fella Thanks bang in the frame.
The Slad handler said: "It's the first time he's going to get to run over the National fences over his ideal trip.
"He's run in the National and the Becher, but all through his career his best form has been over two-five.
"It's funny, as he seemed to get to the same place before blowing up in both the National and the Becher, yet one of those races is a mile shorter.
"I just hope age hasn't caught up with him because everything else is in his favour.
"He's in great form, he's fresh and it's the perfect trip, for once.
"Everyone knows his record over these fences and the handicapper has even dropped him a bit."
Vale of Glamorgan handler Tim Vaughan is represented by Massini's Maguire, who has only just returned to action following a two-year absence due to injury.
Vaughan said: "He's schooled well over the National-style fences and I think the drop in trip will suit him.
"He's had a couple of runs to sharpen him up after a long lay-off. I think the course and the fences will suit him.
"He's a big, bold jumper who can roll along from the front."
Owner Andy Stewart has been encouraged by the recent form of Tatenen, a faller in the Grand National last year but third in the Byrne Group Plate at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Stewart said of the Richard Rowe-trained 10-year-old: "If Tatenen runs up to his Newbury or Ascot form this season, or even his Cheltenham third, then he has to have a bit of a chance.
"He was in the National as well but I had a chat to Andrew Thornton (jockey) and we decided he wouldn't stay four and a half miles in an aeroplane.
"He's off 140 but seems to have got his enthusiasm back of late."
Champion Court heads the weights in a maximum field of 30, in which Standing Ovation is the last horse to have made the cut.