One of my favourite races. An aperitif before the Christmas bonanza. The defection of Un de Sceaux is a big shame and now I find that Simonsig is out as well. Poor to see that racingpost.com still quotes the latter at 11/4. However it does open the race. I’m with Special Tiara (7/2) and I think that he was still a serious candidate before the defections. The course suits.
Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
This is made for Bristol de Mai. The current 13/8 is fantastic value against dodgy opposition (was 15/8 yesterday but still good). This horse was serving his time over hurdles and will be shorter on Saturday.
Really looking forward to this. Who is giving their National candidate a serious test? Some of them are stayers, being sent out for their big day today. I don’t get the support for Algernon Pazham against tried and tested opponents. I’m with Saint Are (10/1) to win. This is a high quality horse that can deliver today. Buachaill Alainn is a horse that constantly stays on at the end and, if on a good day, is outstanding place value at 25/1.
2.15 Aintree 3m+ chase
This is an outstandingly good race but absolutely made with the small field for Don Poli. The current 5/6 is a simple more or less double your money gift.
Grand Sefton (3.20)
This begs a good odds winner and the market reflects it. However, I take the view that quality will prevail and I’m with Rocky Creek (6/1) to deliver. Nicholls has long thought of this one as his serious National contender but, without having to stay, this is a perfect opportunity in itself.
London National (3.35)
This has long been the afterthought of a big day’s racing and the runners are hardly too impressive. However, I have a little thought for Mountainous for Kerry Lee on soft ground. It’s probably a romantic notion but I have a vision of this 8/1 shot staying on at what many people don’t realise is a draining finish, particularly after a long chase.