A blank day for the blog on Friday unless anyone managed to get the first 4 bet on The Govaness in the last (with a firm that I cannot get a bet on personally so won’t include for resulting purposes) – she looked to come with a winning run but the combination of her penalty and losing ground throughout on the outside didn’t help close home. So unless anyone managed to avail themselves of that offer we end up with a 10 pt loss on the day.
Anyone who followed 3 mile handicap chase form at Cheltenham might have had a field day with the 1-2 from there, Holywell and Ma Filleule, both running out convincing winners. Neither would look out of place in next season’s Gold Cup on their performances today.
So now we come to Saturday with the Grand National the showpiece on the card:
1.30 Mersey Novices Hurdle
Odds here: http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing-betting/2014-04-05-aintree/13:30/winner
surprisingly not many firms offering an enhanced ¼ odds a place on this race at time of posting
Cheltenham Supreme Novice hurdle form was highly advertised by Josses Hill and Sgt Reckless today and Wilde Blue Yonder represents the best of that here. He ran a solid race there and may well have won two others earlier in the year but for last fence falls. Now he has a clean round behind him, it has to be hoped he can go on from that and the extra half mile could bring some further improvement.
Chief threat for me is Oscar Hoof, who hasn’t been running at such a high level but impressed greatly when winning at Kempton last time – seeing off a strong travelling challenger in great style . It’s notable that Barry Geraghty picks him instead of Volnay De Thaix.
Not quite enough value in the market to tempt me in right now
2.00 Maghull Novices Chase
The Aintree version of Cheltenham’s Arkle is a tight looking race where the isn’t much between the principals.
Trifolium came out best in the Arkle but Balder Success and Hinterland both dodged that race (the latter having an unfortunate unseat in the Champion Chase instead)
Next Sensation and Simply Ned are very progressive types who have come up through handicaps and deserve their chance at this level. The former is an exciting front runner who should be better suited to this track than at Cheltenham.
Simply Ned has improved all through the season and could be the sort who will prosper with the gallop that will be set here. He is the selection on the basis that I don’t think his level of form is too dissimilar to his main rivals – but his price compared to them is much too high. It’s no shock he missed Cheltenham – the Richards stable have always had greater success at this course
2.50 Silver Cross Stayers Hurdle
Aintree version of the World Hurdle sees At Fishers Cross (3rd in that) leading the market.
He is much the likeliest winner for me but I can see why Corals look to want to take him on at 15/8.
I’m not sure where the pace will come from in this race so it could be a muddling affair. He has had jumping problems in the past but it was a much cleaner display at Cheltenham where he was well beaten by two hugely talented rivals – but was clearly ahead of the rest.
I think he could be the leading 3 mile hurdler next year if his jumping is sharpened as so many of his rivals may be changing trip or going chasing.
It’s not a betting race on this occasion for me
No surprise to see Victor Hewgo favourite here – his form is closely tied in with Holywell and Western Warhorse who have boosted it considerably since. He may be a bit flattered by some of this but is clearly the one to beat. This is a competitive race though and odds are quite short around 7/2
Unioniste represents last seasons novice chase crop which doesn’t look bad now after recent performances of Lord Windermere and Boston Bob. His weight could be prohibitive here though,
The interesting one lower down the handicap is Saint Are, who has an excellent record at this meeting, winning twice at the Mildmay course. He runs off an 8lb lower mark than when successful in this race in 2012 and I would be inclined to forgive his pulled up effort at Cheltenham last time – a course he has never liked
9/1 available there now and if he gets to a double figure price I might have to play
4.15 Crabbies Grand National
The highlight of the meeting and here are the latest odds:
I covered the race more thoroughly when the 5 day decs came out on Monday here : https://thefinalfence.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/grand-national-2014/
This really is a race to hunt for value, particularly on each way betting with bookmakers falling over themselves to compete for best price and trying to tempt punters in with 5 or even 6 places. This really isn’t profitable for them to do so take advantage if you can get good win odds and extra places – its often going to be a loss leader for companies who hope to bring in new customers through the year in what is one of their biggest ‘shop windows’.
Make sure you take a price – most firms wil offer best odds guaranteed in case the SP is bigger – but the likelihood is that prices will shorten once on course bookmakers control the odds. So bet early take the price and get the value while it’s there!
The expected rain hasn’t really materialised since then so that’s against two stats picks – Hawkes Point and Mountainous
This leaves old Welsh National protagonists, Teaforthree and Monbeg Dude as the chief picks but on a basis of value I prefer the former for reasons stated in that piece, (Monbeg’s rider Paul Carberry will have to pass the doctor in the morning to ride as well after a fall in the Topham today). I think he should be more like 6/1 for the race but 10/1 is being pushed out there again this evening
I can understand why money has come for The Package today after he chased home today’s winners, Holywell and Ma Filleule last time at Cheltenham. That was a fairly distant third though and I would rather judge him on the horse that finished around him than the two who were clearly dominant. When he was 33/1 he was interesting but quotes of less than 20/1 for ahorse who didn’t really seem to enjoy the fences on his previous try here aren’t particularly tempting)
So I’ll be sticking with my previous recommendations here
2.5 pts ew Teaforthree (now possible to get 10/1 ¼ 123456! with BetVictor – best win odds and best place odds is hard to knock)
0.75 pts ew Vintage Star 66/1 now available with some firms offering extra places)
(1pt ew Soll was advised in January but he was balloted out of the race which means we get money back on that bet)
*MORNING UPDATE – Extra Recomemndation *
1.5pts Swing Bill @4/1 to finish in first 10 – this market only offered on William Hill and the Betfair Exchange right now. In 6 attempts over the course, this old veteran has jumped round every time and the only time he didnt complete was a pulling up on very heavy ground in the Becher Chase. He’s probably one of the safest conveyances in the race and this price seems based on his win price rather than his course record. His November run over the course showed he has some zest for the course still and although competing for places is unlikely a top 10 finish certainly is a good possibility
5.10 Conditional Jockeys Hcap Hurdle
Awaiting odds from some companies here who haven’t joined the party yet so will post more on this either later tonight or tomorrow morning
A competitive event but I’m taken by the two John Quinn runners (he won the race last year with Cockney Sparrow) – the favourite seems a bit too short
0.5 pts ew each Kashmir Peak and Scots Gaelic – take 20/1 where available
Ignore Kashmir Peak’s Cheltenham run – he doesnt like the course and needs a flat track and reasonable ground – well weighted on his juvenile form last year. Scots Gaelic looked an improved perform,er last time and with Dean Pratt’s useful 7lb claim he comes here effectively on the same mark as he had then
This race has thrown up some quality performers in the past and can rival Cheltenham’s Champion Bumper in terms of class.
The New One and My Tent of Yours were the 1-2 in 2012 and Tidal Bay showed a glimpse of what was to come when 2nd at 66/1 in 2006.
No bets here. I’m hoping to see an improved performance from Our Kaempfer who ran far too free in the Cheltenham bumper – jockey bookings appear to suggest he is the stable’s second string though. It seems like Alan King prefers to run his best young horses in the bumpers at this meeting rather than at Cheltenham. He won the mares race yesterday so the valu pick for me would be McCabe Creek around the 20/1 mark. I don’t think he is necessarily the stable’s second string – Wayne Hutchinson has a good association with the owners horses in the past. He looked a good prospect first time up chasing home Puisque Tu Pars and reopposes here. Better ground should suit and King seldom has them ready first time up so we can expect to see some improvement
Thanks for reading once more
Have a great National day whatever you back!