On Friday, we see the second day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree, Ladies Day. After an afternoon that saw some shocks but also some favourites land, we move on to tomorrow where as ever at Aintree anything can happen.
The first race of the day is the Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle and what an open race it is to start off the day. With many of the horses being in with a chance in this one, the favourite certainly has leading claims after his last run out. Dream Berry will go off at 8/1 with Barry Geraghty on board. Second favourite at 9/1 is Thomas Campbell for Nicky Henderson who is looking for a better day tomorrow then he did today. Another Horse to look out for in this race is North Hill Harvey. He will go off at around 11/1 for the Skelton’s tomorrow. He was poor in his last race at Cheltenham and even though he is top weight, this horse will be looking to bounce back. Each claims here for many horses in this race with many bookmakers paying for six places.
The Crabbies Top Novices’ Hurdle is the second race of the day on Thursday and will see River Wylde go off as favourite at 2/1. This horse last time out finished Third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and will be looking to go better in this one. This race should be contested by the front three in the market with Mount Mews the highest rated out of the field and at 5/2 will be looking to prove it’s worth. Third favourite is Moon Racer at 4/1. He had a really disappointing Cheltenham and is looking at Aintree to silence the doubters and show why he is a highly respected horse under David Pipe.
The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase see’s Nicky Henderson’s two horses who battled together gallantly in the RSA Chase last time out go head to head again. The winner last time out in a photo finish, Might Bite leads the betting at 4/7 for Nico De Boinville. Second favourite is Whisper who has Davy Russell on board at 11/4. My prediction would be a reverse forecast for these two because there is nothing between them.
Another eagerly anticipated race is the JLT Melling Chase in the fourth race of the day. This also shows a top class field of horses with the favourite being Sub lieutenant at 11/4 who last time finished a brilliant second in the Ryanair Chase behind the classy Un De Sceaux. The second favourite is Gods own at 10/3 he didn’t finish brilliantly in his last race at Cheltenham but he always has to be watched as he has a win against the late Vautour who wasn’t easily beaten. Fox Norton is Next at 7/2 for Gold Cup winning jockey Robbie Power. This horse missed the World Cup of jump racing for this race specifically and has to be considered. Another horse that was disappointing last time out is Uxizandre. on this horses day not many can beat him, it’s just if it wants to turn up. A very strong field in this race with any of the Top four in with a chance.
The Fifth race of the day is the Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase. This race is one of the most open races of the festival, obviously bar the National, but with 30 horses in the market this is anyone’s for the taking. The top picks for me from the field are Henryville at 11/1 with Layton Aspell on board, Eastlake at 14/1 for Barry Geraghty and Irish Cavalier for Paul Townsend. However, there just my picks there are 30 to choose from in this race.
The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle 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 for Jockey Adrien Heskin is The Worlds End at 5/2. However, the horse I would look out for is West Approach at 5/1 on Tom Scudamore. I think this horse has good each way claims.
The last race of the day, the Wetherby’s Private Bank Standard Open NH 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 one I would have a punt on would be Western Ryder at 11/2 for Warren Greatrex and Gavin Sheehan.
My tips for Thursday: Race 1- Dream Berry each way 8/1, Race 2- River Wylde to win 2/1, Race 3- Might Bite 4/7 and Whisper 11/4 reverse forecast, Race 4- Fox Norton to win 7/2, Race 5- Eastlake each way 14/1 Race 6- West Approach to win 5/1