A wonderful days racing at Aintree tomorrow with top class action throughout the day and for the first time Channel 4 have the coverage of the National meeting. You will see at the end of the final race where we have selections that I have given my view on the races where we are not betting.
Matalan Anniversary 4 year old Junvenile Hurdle, Grade 1 Class 1, 2.00 Aintree
A few of these main protagonists have met each other already with Rolling Star having beaten Irish Saint, Irish Saint having beaten Vasco du Ronceray and Vasco du Ronceray finishing just ahead of Rolling Star at Cheltenham. Flaxen Flare is the potential fly in the onitment having won well at Cheltenham but I think he just lacks the class of the front two in the betting. Irish Saint skipped Cheltenham to come here and will be fresh but I do not see any reason that we should reverse form with Rolling Star. Rolling Star was not given to hard a time after Our Conor had sprinted clear in the Triumph in such convincing style. Despite Vasco du Ronceray finsihing one spot ahead of Rolling Star at Cheltenham I think it is significant that Barry Geraghty keeps the faith and rides our selection. This should be a fascinating contest with hopefully Rolling Star beating irish Saint into second place again.
Betfred Bowl Chase, Grade 1 Class 1, 2.30 Aintree
Silviniaco Conti is a worthy favourite here and is generally a very sound jumper despite falling at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup. He is the likely winner but at the odds on offer presents no value whatsoever. Fist Lieutenant was a bit lacklustre at Cheltenham where I think he went for the wrong race. He wasn’t given too hard a tim eof it but does tend to save his best form for Cheltenham. Quito de la Roque missed Cheltenham but has not been the same force as in his novice season and also seems to prefer softer going than he will get here. The Giant Bolster probably needs a tougher test of stamina and would be an interesting National runner next year. Cape Tribulation has won here and is a big enough price to play each way. He ran well in the Gold Cup to finish fifth and should place here, but is probably reliant on Silviniaco Conti making a mistake for him to win but he is a gutsy horse and will battle.
John Smith's Aintree Hurdle Grade 1 Class 1, 3.05 Aintree
A high class Aintree Hurdle with several Cheltenham runners entered here with 3rd and 4th from the Champion Hurdle running. Zarkandar I think does need to step up in trip but think that his exertions at Cheltenham will probably have put paid to his chances this year. Countrywide Flame was third in the Champion Hurdle and I think he has a good chance of winning that race next season and again may pay the penalty for his efforts at Cheltenham. Grandouet fell when running well in the Champion and his tendency to fall has put me off him a bit and this is his first try further than 17 furlongs. Barry Geraghty as deserted Oscar Whisky for him and that explains the market. The New One has been described by his trainer as the best he has trained which is quite a compliment considering he has won both the Gold Cup and the National. Again for a young horse he had tough enough a race at Cheltenham and may need a break for the season. Oscar Whisky is a specialist 2 mile 4 furlong horse and has won this race the last two seasons. he was pulled up in the World Hurdle so hopefully will have a bit more energy that some of these and can complete his hat trick with Tony McCoy on board. He is decent value due to the Cheltenham run and Barry Geraghty switching mounts as if he had swerved Cheltenham and come directly here he would still have BG on board and be about 2/1!
matalan.co.uk Red Rum Handicap Chase Grade 3 Class 1, 4.15 Aintree
Kid Cassidy ran well to finish 2nd at Cheltenham but has a lot of weight here in a race which is normally won by a horse carrying less than 11 stone. This is a big ask but Kid Cassidy is generally consistent and could well challenge for a place. Oiseau de Nuit has the same problem with too much weight and is now getting on in years. He is likely to get run off his feet with the quicker ground here. Toubab won on good ground last time out but is agian high in the weights for what he has achieved this season. Astracad goes well at AIntree but hasn’t been firing this season and is probably best watched at present. He is being backed so there may be stable confidence behind him. Rebel Rebellion may start off as favourite tomorrow and although he lacks experience he is less exposed than most and could prove to be a handicap snip. Pires ran on the flat at Dundalk last time and that was probably to sharpen him for this. He has won a couple of decent chases and was third behind two decent horses two runs ago. It looks to me that Tony Martin has set him out to win this and he deliberately avoided Cheltenham to go for this. Paul Townend rides and he gets on well with the horse and he is a pretty decent price and gets in carrying just over 11 stone.
Of the other races the 340 Gwanako we backed last year when falling and he has a chance again but I like the look of Cottage Oak. (no bet)
The 450 was very trappy with Captian Conan and Fago in opposition and of the two Captain Conan is the choice but no value so no bet.
The 525 closing race has Easter Day as a warm favourite but this is a tough race with the unexposed Buthelezi getting in on a low weight so no bet despite being tempted to back both.
Good luck and enjoy the day’s racing.