Starting this blog at 12.45pm to send later so there may be updates as I go along. I have tomorrows Aintree card in front of me!
First four races have 8, 9, 9 and 6 runners respectively.
The 2.15 Juvenile hurdle has the 1, 2, 3 from the Triumph and the 1, 2, 5 from the Fred Winter.
The 2.50 the Bowl has the 2, 3, 5 and Cue Card from the Gold Cup.
The 3.25 2m4f Aintree hurdle has the 1,2,3,4 from the Champion Hurdle.
The 4.05 Fox Hunters has On The Fringe (last year’s winner) and the 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 from the Cheltenham version.
The 4.40 2m Hcp chase has the 1, 2, 5 from the Grand Annual.
The 5.15 Grade 2 mares bumper is a cracker!!
Groundhog Day or a punting nightmare?
The second to fifth races inclusive have favourites trading at 11/10, 11/10, 7/12 and 7/4 at Best Odds!!!
I can’t wait to see how Fred Done is going to get a Scoop 6 out of this? Aha just found the get out clause “Scoop6 races will be chosen the day before and will be posted on this site. It may be that some races within the Scoop6 during the Grand National Festival are chosen from other race meetings taking place on the day.” Limerick looks his only hope! Here’s the answer – Race 1: 1:40 Aintree Race 2: 3:15 Taunton (10 runner Hcp) Race 3: 4:05 Aintree Race 4: 4:30 Taunton (10 runner Hcp) Race 5: 4:40 Aintree Race 6: 5:15 Aintree.
So from a punting perspective it’s only the first and last races I could have any genuine betting interest in with maybe some very speculative each way darts!
1.40 Manifesto Novices Grade 1 2m4f Chase
L’Ami Serge was 3rd and a well-supported Garde La Victoire fell in the JLT. Sizing John was 2nd and Aso 5th in the Arkle behind Douvan and they both step up in trip by 4F for this contest. Nothing leaps off the page. Sizing John is the Grade 1 horse and there is no Douvan but I’m going for the “avoided Cheltenham” horse whose form with Vaniteux and Ar Mad reads well and at 13/2 with Betfred, it’s a one star* win ARZAL.
5.15 Mares Grade 2 2m 1f Bumper
Can’t wait for this race as I think it contains three outstanding mares in Augusta Kate, La Bague Au Roi and my personal favourite Copper Kay. CK was bogged down at Sandown last time, still comes out OK at the weights, but as long as the word Good is in the ground I’m on again. It’s forecast as Good to Soft and I think 8/1 is great value, she is a three star*** win.
As for those each way pokes, I think Khezerabad is too big in the 2.15 at 25/1 with Coral. Saphir du Rheu goes back chasing and he won at this meeting last year in the Grade 1 novice chase over this trip and as I have concerns over both of the Mullins runners, SdR represents some sort of value at 25/1 general. The Grand Annual was less than three weeks ago so I’m ignoring all those at the sharp end of that field and last year’s winner and course specialist (1218) Surf and Turf can repeat the dose in 2016, 25/1 on offer with Ladbrokes and WH.
Ribchester, now owned by Godolphin, makes his seasonal debut in the G3 7F Prix Djebel at Maison Lafitte tomorrow, Thursday. Fingers crossed for all concerned.
#amazingMrFahey runs Theos Lolly, Farham, Luis Vaz de Torres at Chelmsford on Thursday, none of which appeal as a bet. Tony Hamilton rides the 2yo filly Vona in the first at Southwell and Adam McNamara partners Gabrial the Duke for Dr K in the C4 16F handicap at Southwell. Again neither appeal as a betting medium.
HAKAM (C.Hills) OR – Peak – LWM – RPR 86
This 4yo son of War Front has clearly had his issues and has been seen on the racecourse only twice, both times finishing second. Unraced as a 2yo he was beaten by Ventriloquist on the AW on debut over 7F and then last Spring was runner up in the 7F C4 Alex Scott maiden at the Craven Meeting. Those two runs suggest an OR of mid-eighties and he has now been gelded. He makes his third appearance in a C5 8F maiden on the AW in the 5.50 at Chelmsford on Thursday. Seeing he has to concede a massive 15lbs to the 3yo’s suggests he is just out for a run and being drawn 1 I don’t anticipate Paul Hanagan bouncing him out!! Definitely a watching brief.
UNDER ATTACK (Sir Michael Stoute) OR – Peak – LWM – RPR 76
He made an eye catching debut in June 2015 when 4th to Ibn Malik in a C4 7F maiden at Newmarket, easily outrunning his odds of 33/1. Sent off 5/2JF a month later for a similar contest at Sandown he displayed some “attitude” as the Racing Post recorded “Unseated rider before entering stalls, held up in 8th, dropped to last and urged along 2f out, kept on final furlong”. He has since been gelded and connections will be hoping for a more mature performance from this Dubawi colt. His breeding suggests he will need at least 10F as his mum was a OR100 rated middle distance filly. So we will watch on Thursday 5.50 Chelmsford, and then see how he gets on down the handicap route?