…..well, do you?
Day 2 of the Aintree Grand National meeting today and the televised action kicks off with the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at 2.20.
Given the headline, it will come as no great surprise that our selection is Third Time Lucki, ridden by (Dirty) Harry Skelton.
This 6-y-o was last seen leading over the final obstacle in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, before just failing to get up the hill and finishing a close 6th. That was off a mark of 143, which should make for a very competitive run this afternoon, especially on a more suitable track and back in Novice company.
We propose a win bet at 100-30.
The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase at 2.50 sees the reappearance of one of the few, the very few, English trained Festival winners in the shape of Chantry House, which is fav at 6-4.
Needless to say, had Envoi Allen not gone butt over mammary early in the race, the result may well have been different and, for sure, the riding tactics on Shan Blue would have changed.
Young Harry set out to try to get the odds-on favourite out of its jumping comfort zone and, without the crowd to give a collective gasp/groan, probably was not aware of Envoi Allen‘s fate. No surprise that the horse ran out of gas.
What Shan Blue needs is 3 miles, on good ground, round a flat left-handed track – so that’ll be today, then.
At 15-2 we will venture an each way tickle.
At 3.25 the Marsh Chase takes place, with Paul Nicholls providing 37% of the 8 runner field. Politologue is the stable selected at 3-1, second in behind the Irish trained Fakir D’oudairies at 5-2.
We have a mind to take them both on with the rapidly improving Dashel Drasher, pride and joy of the Jeremy Scott yard. The caveat is the ground, but, if deemed OK to run, this 8-y-o will make them all go.
An each way bet at 15-2 is recommended.
At 4.05 we get the Randox Topham Handicap Chase with 28 runners over the National fences (oh goody).
No great surprise to find this pin-sticker’s paradise is 7-1 the field and our trusty utensil has landed on Huntsman Son and Modus, both of which are around the 12-1 mark.
Televised action is completed by the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at 4.40, with Bravenmansgame installed as the 7-4 favourite.
Whilst respecting the Paul Nicholls‘ runner, we think that another Festival refugee Streets Of Doyen is better value at 9-1.
This 7-y-os 3rd in the Albert Bartlett was no fluke and, unlike some, it’s guaranteed to get every yard of the 3 mile trip. An each way punt, please.
Back tomorrow for a look at ‘you know what’.
Third Time Lucki 2.20 Aintree 2pts win @ 100-30
Shan Blue 2.50 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (2 places)
Dashel Drasher 3.25 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 15-1 (bet365/Hills)
Huntsman Son 4.05 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (7 places SkyBet/Hills)
Modus 4.05 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (7 places SkyBet/Hills)
Streets Of Doyen 4.40 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (4 places)