Definitly Red will attempt to defy the burden of top weight in one of the four Grade 2 races on Saturday’s Haydock card – The Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (Definitly Red 11/2 – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2)).

The race will provide a useful pointer to the 11-year-old’s progress after an improved display in last month’s Becher Chase at Aintree.

That followed a disappointing run in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby when Definitly Red was over 25 lengths behind winner Ballyoptic.

The Grand National would appear to be the main aim for Brian Ellison’s four-time Grade 2 winner, who was pulled up on his only previous run in the big one at Aintree in 2017 (Definitly Red 33/1 – Antepost Outright – 2020 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase).

Having been in with some good sorts at Cheltenham in the past, Definitly Red’s solid fourth place at Aintree last time now looks even better after Becher Chase runner-up Kimberlite Candy won the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday.

Among the rivals for success at the Merseyside track will be Harry Fry’s Acting Lass (9/2), Anthony Honeyball’s Midnight Tune (11/2) and Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds (8/1).

Acting Lass has relatively few miles on the clock for a nine-year-old and displayed good reserves of stamina when successful at Chepstow in December.

But he competes from a 3lbs higher mark than when being narrowly beaten by Regal Encore in Listed company at Ascot on heavy ground four weeks ago.

Mud-loving mare Midnight Tune steps up in class for the hat-trick bid after winning her last two starts at Uttoxeter and Exeter, while Smith’s yard provided the winner in last year’s renewal and will feel Vintage Clouds has a chance of giving them their fifth overall victory in the race.

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