3 IMPORTANT RACE TRIALS FOR AINTREE
1) SANDOWN LISTED NH FLAT RACE (MARES ONLY)
The Mares Only Bumper race at Aintree has gone to a runner from this race in 3 of the last 7 years (2011, 2012 & 2014). in 2017 both the Aintree Mares Bumper second (20/1) and third (9/2) came here direct from the Sandown race. The three winners had finished 4th - 3rd - 4th at Sandown.
2019 RESULT: 9th March
1ST: MISTY WHISKY 5/1 2ND: SILVER FOREVER 11/8F 3RD: FARNE 20/1
The 1-3-4-9 from this race are declared for the Aintree Mares Hurdle on Thursday: MISTY WHISKY, FARNE, WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI & BRIERY EXPRESS
SELECTION: FARNE pulled hard and too much use was made of her early on but she was still travelling nicely rounding the home bend before she lugged left up the home straight looking like a horse not entirely happy racing right handed. Aintree should suit her better and under a more restrained ride I fancy her to reverse placings with the winner
2) KAUTO STAR NOVICE CHASE (KEMPTON 3M)
It might be a big no-no as a trial for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham but the Feltham/Kauto Star Chase run at Kempton on Boxing Day has provided 5 of the last 7 winners of the Aintree Mildmay Chase. They had finished 2nd-1st-Fell-3rd-Fell at Kempton.
2018 RESULT: 26th December
1ST: LA BAGUE AU ROI 8/1 2ND: TOPOFTHEGAME 5/1 3RD: SANTINI 11/10F
SELECTION: LA BAGUE AU ROI Aand BAGS GROOVE contest the first race of the meeting so I'll go with the Kauto Star runner up TOPOFTHEGAME.
3) SANDOWN NOVICE HANDICAP HURDLE (2M4F)
Since 2007 there have been 6 runners from this race to go directly to the 3 mile handicap on the Saturday of the Aintree meeting and 4 of them have won.
2019 RESULT: 9th March
1ST: THIRD WIND 9/1 2ND: ONE FOR ROSIE 12/1 3RD: CHAMPAGNE WELL 12/1 4TH: MILL GREEN 14/1
The 3rd CHAMPAGNE WELL & 7th TRIXSTER are currently declared for the race.
SELECTION: CHAMPAGNE WELL runs in the novice hurdle on Friday and Trixster didn't make the cut leaving us with no selection this year.
2 AINTREE WINNERS FROM LAST YEAR
1) LALOR (3.00 Saturday)
He disappointed a lot of supporters at the Cheltenham Festival (me included) when it looked as though a lack of experience and him missing his intended prep runs were major contributing factors to his defeat. The trainer was reluctant to race him after his defeat at Sandown in really soft ground in December with first the ground too soft for his next intended race, then not soft enough(!) for his Cheltenham prep. Wrapping the horse in cotton wool backfired drastically at Cheltenham and he was never travelling before pulling up after the 9th fence. Hopefully lessons have been learned and on a return to his favourite meeting (2 wins from 2 runs), on what should be perfect ground, he can reproduce the kind of form that saw him win his first start over fences way back in November.
2) TIGER ROLL (5.15 Saturday)
He arrived at Aintree last year after winning the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and held on by a fast diminishing 1/2 length. This year he arrives in even better form having romped home in a Grade 2 Hurdle before retaining his Cross Country crown with the most impressive win of the entire Cheltenham Festival. His jockey had him in midfield, but away from the field and any potential trouble, and having coasted around the course was unleashed at the fourth last where he simply sauntered home to record a 22 length win. It was an ultra impressive win and sets him up nicely for a historic attempt at back to back Grand National's. He really does look to have an outstanding chance of becoming the first horse since the great Red Rum to achieve that feat.
1 HORSE FOR AINTREE THAT MISSED CHELTENHAM
Unbeaten in 2 NH flat races and 3 hurdle starts he absolutely slammed Grade 2 winner Lisnagar Oscar at Ffos Las over 2m4f at the start of the Season before following up in equally easy fashion at Lingfield in early January despite dropping back to 2 miles. He didn't look as impressive last time out at Newbury but he did show a lot of guts that day to regain the lead and stay on to record a 3/4 length victory after being headed at the last flight. He's prone to making the odd mistake early on in his races but looks a horse with a big engine and is sure to run well whichever race he ends up in.
Declared 4.40 Friday
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