On Thursday we see the start of the Grand National meeting at Aintree. This event is widely looked forward to with thousands of people from all over the country coming to see some of the best horses in the sport, and to also witness one of the greatest races of the calendar year.
The first race of the day is the Manifesto Chase and what a great race it is to start off the meeting. Leading the Betting is second in the JLT Novices Chase at Cheltenham last month, Top Notch for Nicky Henderson. He will start the day tomorrow at 5/4 but this price is due to drop leading up to the race as i have a feeling he will be heavily backed. Second favourite at 3/1 is Cloudy Dream who last time out Finished second to the well established Altior in the Arkle Trophy. Another Horse to look out for in this race is Frodon. He will go off at 9/2 tomorrow for Paul Nicholls and is the outside bet in this race tomorrow.
The Juvenile Hurdle is the second race of the day on Thursday and will see Cheltenham’s brilliant Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil go off as odds on favourite at 2/7. this unbeaten horse has done everything asked of him and more for Phillip Hobbs and owner J P McManus and this time around he has the well experienced Barry Geraghty on board. I can’t see this horse getting beat.
The Aintree Bowl has a wide spread of talent amongst it’s field. The peoples favourite Cue Card leads the betting at 7/4 and this horse needs a big run to prove the doubters wrong saying that his time is nearly up. Second favourite is Empire of Dirt this horse is very hit and miss but has a lot of potential and at 5/2 this horse is worth a watch. The Nigel Twiston Davis horse Bristol De Mai is next at 6/1 who was disappointing in the Timico Gold Cup and has something to prove. My money would be on Empire of dirt.
Another eagerly anticipated race is the Aintree Hurdle in the fourth race of the day. This also shows a top class field of horses with the odds on favourite being Buveur D’air at 4/11. This horse last time out put many top horses to shame like Yanworth, Petit Mouchoir and Brain Power in the Stan James Champion Hurdle and is looking to inflict the same result on other top class horses in this race. The horses that could threaten the favourite are The New One at 7/1 and My Tent Or Yours at 11/1 for Nicky Henderson.
The Fifth race of the day is the Foxhunters chase. Leading the betting in this race is On The Fringe at 2/1. He was disappointing at cheltenham in this race but is looking to bounce back with a strong win here. Second favourite is the winner of this race at Cheltenham Pacha Du Polder. This horse goes off at 10/3 and offers fierce competition to the favourite. This race should see a good battle from the market leaders.
The Red Rum Handicap Chase at 16:40 is a very open race with many of the field having a strong chance of winning it, this race is one for an each way bet. leading the market is Nicky Henderson’s Theinval at 6/1. However the horse I would look out for is Yorkist at 14/1 for the Skelton camp. I think this horse has good each way claims.
The last race of the day, the Goffs Nickel Coin Mares Flat Race which see’s a change to the racing proceedings from hurdles and fences and goes to flat. this race is widely contested with any horse again being in with a chance of winning it. However the favourite has leading claims here and Petticoat Tails at 5/2 for Warren Greatrex is the one to be watched here.
My tips for Thursday: Race 1- Top Notch to win at 5/4, Race 2- Defi Du Seuil to win 2/7, Race 3- Empire of Dirt to win 5/2, Race 4- My Tent Or Yours each way 11/1, Race 5- On The Fringe to win 2/1 and Race 6- Yorkist each way 14/1