The big day is almost upon us and it’s been a good meeting for the blog so far with Legacy Gold doing the job nicely in the last today
Tomorrow bookies will be falling over themselves to give the best offers on the race (run at 415) and unless your selection clashes with Tom Segal’s Pricewise one tonight it’s likely that best odds will be found tomorrow morning.
Hills and Ladbrokes supposedly offer 12/1 the field tomorrow so anyone fancying On His Own or Seabass (albeit for likely small stakes) should wait for 9am and get on what they can quickly. They may just pay on first four places for each way though
Betvictor offer ¼ odds first 6 which is hard to top for those who want to cover many horses in each way singles
Other firms offer first 5 and it could be worth keeping a close eye on Stan James particularly who I believe plan to offer best price on every horse later in the morning tomorrow – if they are that competitive on win odds their place book should hold equally profitable punting opportunities
I can’t add too much more to what I put in my Grand National blog for the big race except to add the name of SOLL into the mix. I didn’t really expect this one to get into the race but he has done and creeps in with a very low weight after a superb round of jumping saw him win at Sandown last time. He is well weighted with Teaforthree compared to their Hennessy running and on breeding should prefer the better ground. He could be worth a small ew addition
And now to the back up races:
With a dead 8 runners there is a good ew angle here – less so if one were to drop out.
Favourite is UP AND GO but he does appear a bit too short for me and is unproven on anything other than soft ground.
DODGING BULLETS was disappointing at Cheltenham and have never thought of him as anything other than a 2 miler before today. The ground may suit him a lot more today but he didn’t perform well at this meeting last year and doesn’t appeal at all at a top price of 11/4 right now
The recommendation is EDUARD from Nicky Richards’ stable who deliberately avoided Cheltenham to keep him for this. Very much a work in progress, he has appealed all season as a potential star of the future. The fact that the stable ran him earlier in the season at Cheltenham (as they did with another stable novice Duke of Navan) shows the regard they have for it to me – they don’t go there for the fun of it
His last defeat on paper was disappointing but am willing to excuse it because of the ground
1.5 pts ew EDUARD @5/1 ¼ 123 (365)
(and cross fingers for no nrs)
I have no strong view on the next 2 races ( I will say though that Celestial Halo has generally underperformed here in the past after running well at Cheltenham)
Have had this race in mind for MAC AEDA since seeing him in the 5 day decs. Twice I’ve seen him tanking along in races and looking a major player only to fail through stamina over longer trips. Last time at Haydock it was over 3 furlongs further in very soft ground; similarly in the Scottish Grand National last season on good ground that marked him to me as a horse to follow closely this year.
His mark has slipped nicely to 126 and I’m very hopeful of a big run.
The potential fly in the ointment is BATTLE GROUP who won easily here on Thursday in a hurdle race off the same 131 mark as today. He finished second in this race last year off a 6lb higher mark. If he has come out of that race well he will be a threat.
Recommendation 1pt ew MAC AEDA 14/1 (1/4 1234)
(will also be looking to back without the fav – if that is Battle Group)
No strong view – my shortlist currently is COCKNEY SPARROW, CRY OF FREEDOM and maybe FIRST IN THE QUEUE at very big odds (not familiar with jockey there puts me off a little but ground will suit this one much better than his recent runs)
Bet365 have a far better offer than anyone else for this by offering ¼ odds 1234.
It looks like the money is coming down for TISTORY already and that has to be respected from the Henderson stable. PURE SCIENCE (bred to win a Derby), would emulate his stablemate The New One if he won this – they both finished 6th in the Cheltenham bumper before tackling this.
There wouldn’t seem to be much between him and PURPLE BAY on that Cheltenham run, and he in turn has little in hand of WYLDE BLUE YONDER.
In terms of value I’ll pick MASTER MALT who I think has the best single piece of form in the race ( anarrow defeat by River Maigue at Ayr last season after which he was bought by JP MacManus) and I expected to be a single figure price.
0.5pts ew MASTER MALT 14/1 (1/5 123 P Power) 0r 12/1 (1/4 1234 with B365)
* late update on this race – I am quite taken by support on Betfair for Fair Loch and have added a small ew @25/1 also
Thanks for reading this and any other posts over the Aintree work
(as I complete the piece I see Pricewise has gone for Chicago Grey and Quiscover Fontaine in the GN – both in my shortlist from earlier this week)