#startracking Friday April 8th 7pm

Great days racing from Aintree today. There still looking for my selections in the opening handicap hurdle and the Topham but both cracking contests with SP returns to match! Buveur D’Air did it professionally, he jumps really well, and I’m not sure we will see Limini over jumps again if Closutton think she can win a Group race on the flat. Her performance doesn’t help the credibility of the Mares Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham. Vautour was a shock but hey that’s racing. Faith stretched but maintained!! Bellshill was a bitter pill having got on at 14’s!! Ruby would have finessed it and why wasn’t the horse in the Alfred Bartlett?? Bumper was more satisfactory and I think Bacardys could be some hurdler! He has gears!

Now for tomorrow? The card does very little for me. Can’t back Yorkhill, Thistlecrack or Douvan and don’t really want to take them on but will make one exception. Really hoped to get my money back on If In Doubt but 4/1 and Barry Geraghty makes that a no no! So here we go.

1.45 3m1f Grade 3 3m 1f handicap hurdle

Just can’t bring myself to back If In Doubt. Absolute ark of animals I could put up but all of them have a downside of some sort. So I am going to show just how close madness is to genius by putting up At Fishers Cross as a one star* e/w selection. He’s won the Sefton, he’s been runner up to Whisper in the Melling, Course box ticked. He’s been 3rd and 4th in a World hurdle, tick the Class box. He’s won on Good to Soft, Soft and Heavy, tick the Going box. Jonathon Moore, Noel Meades talented claimer, takes 5lb off and so in effect he’s off 143 and I think 25/1, general, is too big! OK he has run like a dog for eighteen months but that price is too big!

2.25 2m4f Grade 2m 4f novice hurdle

Yorkhill has the form but I have had this race pencilled in for Le Prezien for two months and he has to be put up as a one star* win selection as 10/1 Coral. You can’t be scared of one horse, can you?

If Douvan and Thistlecrack are beaten in the next two races I will be bitterly disappointed but no poorer.

The 4.20 just looks a poor race. I had high hopes for Thomas Brown twelve months ago so perhaps your loose change at 10/1 with Coral.

5.15 THE GRAND NATIONAL

This is now a classy 4m+ handicap chase when on decent ground and not the lottery it used to be.

I can think of no reason not to back Many Clouds for a repeat. So that is one star* win @ 9/1 Betfred.

There is no way a 7yo with three runs over fences can win. I said the same about Coneygree in the Gold Cup so that is a one star* win on Onenightinvienna @ 50/1 with PP. He is a #startracking horse and already in my notes I have written “could jump a bus” and “can’t wait to see him in a National of any sort”.

Supposedly they have had this race in mind all season for Ballycasey and he was going fine until running into Balthazar King at the Canal Turn and he is a half star* win @ 80/1 with PP.

He always seems to clout one, he always seems to arrive too late and he seems to be ideally suited to Grand National specialist Paul Moloney so it’s a half star* win on Buywise @ 50/1 with Betfred!

The horse that is my idea of the winner is THE DRUIDS NEPHEW and I put him up as a three star*** each way selection @ 16/1 PP and Ladbrokes ¼ 1-2-3-4-5. He has the class to win at Cheltenham, he was going oh so well here last year and has been campaigned all season with this day in mind.

I wish you the best of luck with whoever you choose and let’s hope all forty horses and their jockeys return safe and sound.

6.10 2m+ Class 2 2m handicap hurdle for conditionals and amateurs.

It may be getting dark but I have a real fancy in here. He is a #startracking horse, he is trained by Willie Mullins and he is Ivan Grozny. His last three runs have been in the Coral.ie, the Betfair and the County hurdles and there is nothing of that calibre in this field. He was a Grade 3 winning juvenile, he’ll love the ground as he will the breakneck pace and in jockey, David Mullins, he has one if not the strongest and most astute claimers riding. Get on early as I can see this being a real plunge. Ivan Grozny is a three star*** each way selection @ 16/1 PP and Ladbrokes.

Next week sees three days of the Craven meeting and two days of the Greenham. Can’t wait!

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