No posting for day 1 as it looked more of a watching day (just some updates through Twitter @Senor_Moodoir). Aintree is a meeting where surprises do happen – some horses come here after being trained to the minute for Cheltenham and can be a little past their peak.
Day 2 looks more interesting for betting and some thoughts below
Odds won’t get available freely until after todays racing is over but some early musings about what might look of interest
The first two races don’t really appeal as betting propositions at this stage
3.05 Melling Chase
Odds are available here and it’s another chance to see the superstar of the chasing game at the moment, Sprinter Sacre.
Over two miles he would be expected to make mincemeat of this opposition here even though they are the best he has yet to encounter this season. But this race is half a mile further and with his stamina unproven at this level that has to give his rivals some hope.
Flemenstar and Cue Card are great horses in their own right but the former has never run outside of Ireland and is understood to not be a good traveller. Furthermore, I think that Cue Card’s form is looking slightly stronger now in hindsight of Cheltenham. He did give Sprinter Sacre a semblance of a race at Cheltenham last year and is seen as the biggest threat. With his stamina being assured over this trip he rates a bet for me.
Finians Rainbow hasn’t shown enough form this year to come under consideration but For Non Stop is interesting at very big odds. He travelled very well up to a point last time but his best form has been on this track and it may suit better than Cheltenham. He may well be ridden for second here also
2pts ew Cue Card @7/1 or better (1/4 odds 1-2)
0.5 pts ew For Non Stop @40/1 (Sportingbet ¼ 1-2)
1pt ew For Non Stop @12/1 w/o Sprinter Sacre 1/4 1-2 (P Power)
3.40 Topham Chase
The traditional curtain raiser to the Grand National – a ‘miniature ‘ version of the big race over the same fences but a shorter trip of 2ml 5.5 fur.
Previous form over the course and in this race is so often a plus here.
Chance Du Roy is therefore the obvious one having finished 2nd in this last year and now amazingly better off at the weights with Fistral Beach and Little Josh who finished behind.
Tartak was top weight that day and finished well down the field – he did have an excuse as having broken a blood vessel during the race. We know he can jump round here though and he lines up tomorrow with a massive 23lb better mark and having run a god third at Cheltenham to show his form hasn’t completely deteriorated. He has to be of interest with his low weight.
Peter Bowen has won this for the last 3 years with the admirable Always Waining. That one goes for the big one instead this year but he could have an able deputy in Gullible Gordon who was backed down from 33/1 to 20/1 earlier this week. He jumped nicely round here before the trip found him out in the John Hughes Trophy in December and his mark as fallen since. An interesting outsider.
I’d be happy taking ew on Chance Du Roy at 8/1, Tartak at 14/1 and Gullible Gordon at 20/1 but preferably with firms that decide to offer ¼ 12345 on the race – evening update 10/1 available in a place on Chance Du Roy with 5 places. (arranging stakes so that they would all win approx 10pts on win part)
At Fishers Cross comes here with form far superior to anything else and is likely to be a short priced fav. A word of caution though – the ground will be faster than he encountered at Cheltenham and throughout this season and this race has often thrown up big priced surprises.
A few years back the owner had hot favourite Wichita Lineman who came here with very similar credentials – he got involved in a duel with main rival Massinis Maguire and they both ended up getting chinned by 20/1 shot Chief Dan George.
I am struggling to find a reasonable outsider currently though and it looks a race just to watch right now and to avoid piling into the fav on
Need to wait to see some odds here but initially attracted by Meister Eckhart (smashing Cheltenham effort), Peckhamecho (on his Welsh Champion hurdle run and back in a similar race) and the progressive looking Prima Porta right on the bottom 10 stone weight
evening update – happy with prices available on all 3 here; 10/1 Meister Eckhart; 20/1 Prima Porta and 25/1 Peckhamecho all available – recommended to back all ew to win 10 pts on win part
5.25 Mares Bumper
Again prices required – the Sandown mares race which threw up the winner last year was run in appalling ground this year and that could count against those who come here from that with a hard last race – and the ground conditions will be totally different to make the form line questionable
I like the form of Irish raider Legacy Gold at the moment, whose trainer is very adept at this type of race. Evening update – would have taken anything with double figues on this one after Runswick Royal gave formlines a big boost earlier today – 14/1 available 1/4 1234 1pt ew recommended
( good chance to use some nice enhanced place terms which can be used to advantage in combo bets tomorrow and Grand National for anyone who wants to escape the singles only options)