Protektorat primed for Aintree Bowl on day one of Grand National Festival

Dan Skelton's Protektorat showed his promise with a strong third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and now goes to the Aintree Bowl on an amazing first day of the Aintree Grand National Festival on April 7.

Dan Skelton is hoping to go two better with his star chaser Protektorat, third in the Gold Cup, as he goes for the Grade 1 Aintree Betway Bowl on April 7.

The three miles, one furlong chase is the feature on day one of the Randox Aintree Grand National Festival and Skelton's seven-year-old will go into battle with such talent as Gordon Elliott's Conflated, Paul Nicholls' Clan Des Obeaux and Venetia Williams' Royal Pagaille.

Eldorado Allen, Itchy Feet, Fakir D'oudairies, Nuts Well and Paint The Dream add further layers of depth.

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson's Epatante, runner up to Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle, could step up to two and half miles for the the Betway Aintree Hurdle on a thunderingly good Thursday on Merseyside.

The JP McManus owned mare could go up against Elliott's promising Zanahiyr, while David Pipe's Adagio will bid to build on his potential in opposition alongside last year's fifth Brewin'upastorm of the Olly Murphy yard.

Seven Barrows heavyweight Henderson has also entered classy veteran Buveur D'Air, a winner of the Aintree Hurdle in 2017.

Fellow jumps training legend Nicholls will hope for a better Aintree than Cheltenham and sends Bravemansgame, a late withdrawal at Cheltenham due to sodden ground,to the SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices' Chase.

Nicholls looks like he means business at Aintree, determined to wrestle back some of the column inches dominated by Willie Mullins at Cheltenham. Bravemansgame is joined by Pic D'Orhy, another highly rated chaser from Ditcheat and the pair are likely to head the betting.

Other notable entries in the SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices' Chase include Henry de Bromhead's Gin On Lime and Colin Tizzard's War Lord.

The class on display shows the faith trainers still have in the world famous Grand National meeting as Aintree builds up to the big one itself on April 9.

Read More: Why is the Grand National the world's greatest steeplechase?

Latest news