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Tag: Aintree

Getting ready for Aintree

It’s a bit early to be putting up posts about the Aintree Festival because we have little idea just which horses will be turning up where, or at all, but I’m laying down a marker.

I’m looking forward to watching Thursday’s fare in a suitable Racing UK furnished hostelry, followed by Friday with the obligatory sparkling drinks and Grand National day at home from start (preview programmes in the morning) to finish with, as usual, probably more interest in the “undercard” than the main event.

On Sunday, Nicky Henderson reported that Altior will be aimed at the Celebration Chase at Sandown and today Willie Mullins said that Footpad will not be traversing the Irish Sea later this week. If I was in the wonderful position of Munir/Souede (if only) then I would be seriously contemplating a trip to France in May, given this one’s predilection for Auteuil, perhaps over the haies (half way houses between hurdles and fences) that he has shown he is so adept at dealing with. It would be something else to see him up against De Bon Coeur in the Grande Course des Haies d’Auteuil but that is perhaps too much to hope for!

Buveur d’Air has also been ruled out of an Aintree run and is looking like he’s on his way to Punchestown later this month.

It’s sad but unsurprising to read about the retirement of Cause of Causes after his abject performance in the Cheltenham Cross Country. He’s been a nailed on bet at the Festival for the last few years and has well and truly earned his relaxation after his halcyon days.

In other news Ryanair winner Balko des Flos will run in the Melling Chase on Friday, Identity Thief will take part in the Stayers’ Hurdle on Saturday and Petit Mouchoir is likely to be favourite in the Maghull Novices’ Chase also on Saturday (which will undoubtedly be called Mag-hull by the racing presenters – as it always is!).

And what about the going? Here we go again (after Cheltenham). Here on the Wirral it poured all day on Saturday, although I’m told that it wasn’t so bad across the Mersey. As usual, I’ve tested the ground in my back garden and it’s soft, heavy in places! However, Aintree is renowned for it’s drying properties.

Here’s the Turftrax view as at 13:01 today:




According to the the generally reliable Accuweather, it’s going to rain tonight, showers on Tuesday, a shower or two on Wednesday, more showers on Thursday and Friday and cloudy on Saturday. As with Cheltenham, my prediction is for soft all round on all courses.


Here are the races to look forward to, ready to be filled and commented on over the next few days when we know the participants.


1.45 Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m4f (Mildmay)

2.20 Doom Bar 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f

2.50 Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f (Mildmay)

3.25 Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

4.05 Foxhunters’ Chase 2m 5f (Grand National)

4.40 Red Rum Chase (Grade 3) 2m (Mildmay)

5.15 Mares’ Bumper (Grade 2) 2m 1f


1.45 Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 4f

2.20 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1/2f

2.50 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f (Mildmay)

3.25 JLT Melling Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f (Mildmay)

4.05 Topham Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5f (Grand National)

4.40 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m 1/2f

5.15 Bumper (Grade 2) 2m 1f


1.45 Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 3m 1/2f

2.25 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

3.00 Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m (Mildmay)

3.40 Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f (Mildmay)

4.20 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m 1/2f

5.15 The Grand National (Grade 3) 4m 2 1/2f (Grand National)

6.20 Conditionals and Amateurs’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 1/2f

So, just the 11 Grade 1 races to look forward to!


Aintree – 22 October – I’ll be there so paddock views will follow on Twitter

Any followers of this page will know that I love National Hunt racing and tomorrow will be my first outing of the season. I’ve also accepted an invite to Cheltenham so I’m now in full NH mode! We’ve got good to soft, good in places so, as a general rule, I’m with fit horses coming back after a summer break rather than summer jumpers.

OK, here goes >>>

2.25 I wrote this one up and changed my mind so approaching with caution. Initially with Rumble of Thunder but I have to go with Reindeer Dippin (13/2) with really good form here at the National meeting and trusted to be fit. I’ll make a point of checking him out in the parade ring.

2.55 I have a strong view about this. There were familiar names in the entries (even 14-y-o Mister McGoldrick) and these veterans’ races are nearly always won by ones with recent form, rather than those which are just given a chance late outing. Treacle will win this. No value but this will be won by a margin.

3.30 Master Minded will be fit and ready to win. Track and opponent form and Albertas Run is in and out and generally more out on his first outing. Albertas’ owner loves Aintree but his big missions are later in the season and, unlike MM, he needs things to be right. That said he has career winnings of nearly £800K. However, Master Minded has won £999,772 and this is his chance to break the million. MM is one of the best horses in training and that will show. Another to be checked in the ring but I’m expecting a near as damnit fully fit horse. Paul Nicholls says that he’s not going to be at his peak in October and that defeat to Albertas Run would “not be a disaster” but I get the strong feeling that he’s fit and ready to win. 1/2 is obviously not great value, unless you want to make 50% in 10 minutes!

4.05 This is a tough race and possibly a placepot breaker. I’m looking at it from that point of view so the focus is on place positions in worthwhile races. Gormanstown Cuckoo is the selection. What a Warrior is my saver and, if I’m worried about it, I might also have double saver on Lady Karinga.

4.40 This is the big risk, and probably betraying my preference for French horses with French form, but I’ve taken a view that Edgardo Sol is a good horse. I’ll have a win bet but for the placepot Flinty Bay is the saver. I don’t like Havingotascoobydo which was entered for numerous races and has ended up here.

5.15 Gansey is at his best in the mud in the depth of winter and is therefore disregarded. Others appeal but my marginal favourite is Red Admiral who will need to show that the long time off doesn’t matter. Accordingly my placepot saver is Fine Parchment (this is getting expensive!).

5.45 Dead easy – won’t necessarily have a bet but can’t oppose Hazy Tom – should win.




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