18 October 2021

Itchy Feet on course for Old Roan

18 October 2021

Olly Murphy’s Itchy Feet will try to better his 2020 third-placed finish in the Grade Two Monet’s Garden Old Roan Limited Handicap Chase at Aintree.

The seven-year-old was two and a half lengths behind the winner Nuts Well 12 months ago and went on to be placed in further Graded contests through the rest of the campaign.

Last seen finishing third again in the Grade One Marsh Chase in April, Itchy Feet will return to Aintree on Sunday to make his seasonal debut on the Mildmay course.

“The plan is to go for the Old Roan with Itchy Feet. He is in good form,” said Murphy.

“He had a very good run at Aintree at the back end of last season.

“He will be going up in trip before long – but he ran well in the Old Roan last year, so it makes sense to start him off there again.

“I see him being aimed at all the good two-and-a-half-mile to three-mile chases this season if he keeps on progressing over fences – which I can’t see why he won’t.”

Multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls has won the Old Roan three times and may bid to do so again with Tamaroc Du Mathan, winner of the Grade Two Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton in February.

“He won the Pendil Novices’ Chase very nicely last season and then went to Ayr,” said Nicholls.

“I thought he would go OK, but all mine there ran terribly.

“He is a very nice horse that loves a flat track. He likes to be fresh, and I might look at the Old Roan with him at Aintree because that would suit him well.

“He is not the biggest and might be on the limit of his mark, but we will see.”

Nuts Well is due to defend his title for Ann Hamilton, with Grade One winner Allmankind also entered for Dan Skelton alongside stablemate Bennys King.

Nicky Henderson has both Fusil Raffles and Pistol Whipped in the reckoning, with Evan Williams on course to run Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody.

Ewan Whillans has put forward Cracking Destiny, with Venetia Williams represented by Fanion d’Estruval at this stage and Alex Hales supplying Huntsman Son.

Killer Clown holds an entry for Emma Lavelle – with Sue Smith’s Midnight Shadow, Colin Tizzard’s Reserve Tank, Henry Oliver’s The Big Bite and Brian Ellison’s Windsor Avenue completing 16 possibles.

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