Day 2 of the Aintree Grand National meeting today and we have just about recovered from the palpitations of watching our 100-1 poke leading over the last in the Foxhunters, eventually finishing a gallant (and profitable) third.
That’s the back-patting over with, so on to today.
Most valuable race on the card is the JLT Melling Chase at 3.25 and this looks a shoot-out between Min and Balko Des Flos.
The former is the pretty short priced favourite at 11-10, owing to a second behind Altior in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, in which it was beaten 7 lengths. Stepping up half a mile in trip today, Willie Mullins’ charge will probably take care of the home battalions but, at the prices, we recommend a win bet on Balko des Flos at 5-2.
Fresh from lowering the mighty colours of Un de Sceaux at Cheltenham, this 7-y-o can prove that to be no fluke and get the better of its compatriot.
The meeting kicks off with a fierce looking handicap hurdle at 1.45, with a field of just 20 and the first name to put on your betting slip is Who Dares Wins as an each way bet at 15-2. Trained by Alan King, this 100-rated Flat horse came back from a short break to run an excellent 5th in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, finding the 3 miles just too far, so today’s intermediate trip should be what the Doctor ordered.
We also suggest an each way lash at the front-running Landin at 12-1.
Seamus Mullins’ runner has won its last two, at Sandown and Lingfield and with Danny Samson taking off a valuable 5lbs this 5-y-o could make them all go.
The Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle over 2 miles at 2.20 has the impressive Global Citizen installed as the 2-1 favourite and rightly so after the demolition jobs this 6-y-o has completed the last twice. Saved for this race since a stunning Grade 2 victory at Kempton at the end of February, a win bet is recommended.
The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase at 2.50 sees NJH’s Terrefort step up to three miles for the first time and this grey is trading at around 7-2. However, whether it gets the trip or not, the value bet here is a win bet on Elegant Escape at 4-1. The addition of cheek-pieces is likely to help this consistent and talented stayer and it can go in under Harry Cobden.
The Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase at 4.05 has 28 horses charging over the National fences for 2m 5f (see headline) and we go, like yesterday, three against the field. Unfortunately there’s no 100-1 shot which catches our eye, but each way bets on O O Seven (12-1), Polidam (12-1) and Bouvreuil (14-1) should give us a run for the wonga.
Staying novices take centre stage at 4.40 for the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle over just over 3 miles and we have no hesitation in recommending a win bet at 9-4 on Santini. Unlucky not to win the Albert Bartlett, this Henderson trained 6-y-o can gain some compensation with the help of young Nico.
“And what about the Bumper?”, we hear you cry.
“It’s all yours”, we answer.
Balko Des Flos 3.25 Aintree win @ 5-2 Betfred
Who Dares Wins 1.45 Aintree e/w @ 15-2 Skybet (6 places)
Landin 1.45 Aintree e/w @ 12-1 PaddyPower (5 places), 11-1 Skybet (6 places)
Global Citizen 2.20 Aintree win @ 9-4 10Bet
Elegant Escape 2.50 Aintree win @ 4-1 William Hill
O O Seven 4.05 Aintree e/w @ 12-1 Skybet (6 places)
Polidam 4.05 Aintree e/w @ 12-1 Skybet (6 places)
Bouvreuil 4.05 Aintree e/w @ 14-1 PaddyPower (6 places)
Santini 4.40 Aintree win @ 9-4 Betbright