What a race we have in store for us today. A full complement of 40 horses and riders will be chasing the biggest prize - a million pounds - in jump racing. But first, yesterday, and altho' there was no blog issued (internet problems) I did send out a couple of selections on twitter including HOLYWELL who won at 7/2 and was installed at 12/1 in the Gold Cup market for next March.
I took a good look at the Grand National earlier this week and narrowed the field down to just 5. They are:-TEAFORTHREE @ 12/1 (available generally)
DOUBLE SEVEN @ 14/1 (available generally)
TRIOLO D’ALENE @ 22/1 with Bet365 paying 5-places eachway
CHANCE DU ROY @ 33/1 (available generally)
VINTAGE STAR @ 66/1 (available generally)
To those 5 there is only one other that I would add:
ALVARADO @ 33/1 (available generally)
If you are placing bets then make sure you check the terms of the bookies. Try and avoid those paying only 4-places eachway (Coral and William Hill) as all the rest offer 5-places except Bet Victor - and they are offering 6-places eachway.
At 12/1 I think TEAFORTHREE is great value to be in the 1st-5 and has a favorites chance of winning. He will be in the front-rank throughout the race and should give his supporters a great run. At the odds, I'm going to pass-over DOUBLE SEVEN as now AP McCoy has been confirmed as his rider he does not look value at 14/1. One who looks destined to run a cracking race is TRIOLO D'ALENE. His trainer Nicky Henderson sent 3 winners out at Aintree yesterday and has his horses in tip-top form. TRIOLO D'ALENE won the Topham Chase last year, and then won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and was well fancied to go close in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The worry is that he's carrying a big weight of 11st 6lb so he could be found wanting in the final mile.
There are no weight problems for CHANCE DU ROY: he's only carrying 10st 6lb and has a good record over the National fences having won the Becher Chase last December, and he ran 2nd in the Topham Chase in April 2012. To be honest, I thought he'd be 16/1 for this race and at 33/1 he has to be on the list of eachway wagers. Also with a light-weight is VINTAGE STAR with just 10st 7lb. You have to ignore his last run at Cheltenham - he seems to hate that track - but, before that, he ran a cracker at Haydock in the Peter Marsh Chase. The ground today will be perfect for him and - judged on his close 2nd to Hey Big Spender last November - he has an outstanding chance. Odds of 66/1 are an insult to the horse and he should be trading at less than 20/1.
I've added ALVARADO into consideration as this horse has sneaked into the race with just 10st 2lb . He seems to have unlimited stamina and the further the better for him. He does race at the rear early on, so don't get despondent if you don't hear his name early in the race as he'll be staying-on like a train in the final mile.
Finally, I can't finish this blog without a mention for the horse my girlfriend has put her money on - THE PACKAGE. He hated his experience when he next ran in the race in 2010, but he has tremendous for in handicaps coming 4th in the 2012 Hennessy Gold Cup and 3rd at Cheltenham last month with subsequent Aintree winners Holywell and Ma Filleule the only ones ahead of him.
My advised wagers on the race:
TEAFORTHREE - £5 eachway @ 12/1
CHANCE DU ROY - £5 eachway @ 33/1
VINTAGE STAR - £5 eachway @ 66/1
Total = £30 staked
Of the rest of the card, there is nothing much that looks a value wager except in the 3:25 which is the 3m1f handicap chase. I've long had a eye on WIESENTRAUM and he looks well handicapped off OR130 for this race and has the benefit of 1st-time blinkers. He should be trading a lot shorter than 20/1 (Skybet and Sportingodds) and looks a decent eachway wager.
Aintree 3:25 - WIESENTRAUM, £5 eachway @ 20/1
All the best to readers, and let's hope all the horses go home safe and well.
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Thanks from Wayward Lad
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Current Record - For the 2013-14 Jumps Season (since 30th September 2013):-
Upto and including Sunday 9th March 2014
profit = £234.79 from 59 wagers
staked = £745 (an average of £12.62 per wager)
31.52% return on investment
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.
Saturday, 5 April 2014
Thursday, 3 April 2014
We have a tremendous day of racing at Aintree for the opening day of the Grand National meeting. I remember attending this meeting in the early 1980's and, no doubt about it, the quality of the overall meeting has improved – but whoever was responsible for moving the "Doom Bar" Aintree Hurdle from Saturday to the Thursday needs a kick up the backside.
The day opens with the 2-mile Juvenile Hurdle, a race which has a tremendous role of honour and one which invariably goes to the favourite. This year the fav (at the time of writing) is Calipto who looked desperately unlucky not to be involved in the finish of the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and he should prove too strong for the winner of the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, Activial. One who I will be watching closely is the horse I wagered on in the Triumph Hurdle; Broughton. Trainer John Ferguson has booked AP McCoy for the ride and the horse wears 1st-time blinkers.
Next up we have one of the best races of the meeting, the eagerly awaited Betfred Bowl Chase over 3m1f. On the formbook, this looks a match between Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti. The Irish challenger First Lieutenant won the race last year and is strongest at this trip, but he's no better that 162 on my ratings and will need to find over 7lb of improvement to win today. He may have beaten Silviniaco Conti into 3rd last year, and he could well do the same again today (as there is no pace in the race to get the best out of "Conti") but I can't see him getting the better of Dynaste. This looks set-up for Dynaste to show that he should have gone for the Gold Cup and not the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Dynaste won the novice chase over the C&D at this meeting last year so we know he'll enjoy the conditions, and the race looks like being run to suit him.
I remember watching Monksfield, Night Nurse and Daring Run win the Aintree Hurdle when it was run on the Saturday prior to the Grand National in the late 1970's and early 1980's, and this race is one of the feature races of the hurdling calendar. Why it's being run on Thursday and not Saturday is beyond me. Is The New One fit to join the winner's roster? He's certainly improved a few pounds since running 2nd in this race last year to Zarkandar, but he's still yet to achieve the OR170 rating Rock On Ruby held when a 2-mile hurdler. I wouldn't read too much into when this pair met at Kempton last October as Rock On Ruby was nowhere near as fit then as he will be today. Connections were planning a step-up in trip and possible World Hurdle attempt after that Kempton race, so I've no concerns about today's 2m4f trip and, at 14/1 with Bet Victor, Rock On Ruby looks a decent wager. If you are not inclined to take on The New One, then odds of 100/30 without The New One (Bet Victor and Paddy Power) look good to me.
The Manifesto Novices Chase at 4:50 over 2m4f looks a cracker of a puzzle to solve despite there being only 5-runners. Before I started writing this blog, I was going to pass on making a selection in this race as I expected Western Warhorse, winner of the "Arkle" at the Cheltenham Festival, to be the 6/4 fav. I've just looked and the horse is at 11/4 with a number of bookies (Bet365, Bet Victor, Paddy Power and Stan James). There will be no issues regarding stamina for this horse, and this 6yo won LTO like a step-up in trip to 2m4f would suit him even more. Oscar Whisky is the 9/4 fav but I think his OR156 rating is generous and I have him at about 151, or 10lbs behind Western Warhorse. All the others are chasing the place money.
Aintree 3:05 – ROCK ON RUBY, £10 win @ 14/1 with Bet Victor
And £10 win (without The New One) @ 100/30
Aintree 4:50 – WESTERN WARHORSE, £10 win @ 11/4 (Bet Victor, Bet365, Paddy Power, Stan James)