There is a full day of racing today with a jump meeting at Exeter, a flat (turf) meeting at Pontefract, and an AW meeting at Kempton – so something for everyone!
But first, the Grand National update. There were several big names omitted from the 5-day declarations yesterday. Syncronised and Notre Pere (both previous Welsh National winners) were withdrawn, as was Midnight Chase. Willie Mullins pulled-out both Scotsirish and Ballytrim - but that let in the low-weighted Mullins pair of ARBOR SUPREME and OUR MONTY. Arbor Supreme was 16/1 for last year’s National and fell at the Chair. This year, he was last seen coming home 2nd to the other Mullins horse The Midnight Club who is this year’s National fav at 8/1. ARBOR SUPREME will be 10lb better-off with The Midnight Club for a length beating so he is the value. However, he is a very tricky ride and needs cajoling along; he's not won in 11 races since Nov-2008 and he needs the word "soft" in the going description. OUR MONTY is a bit of a dark horse. He'll have been off the track for 510 days next Saturday having last raced in Nov 2009. He learnt his trade in the point-to-point field and is clearly a decent horse at the level he's been racing at - but beating the OR106 Glenquinn Castle at levels LTO was not a difficult race for him. His previous handler said of him "He's a character and likes to get his own way, he doesn't like being in the middle of horses." If that's the case, then I cannot see the National being his sort of race.
Unless there is a downpour of biblical proportions in the next few days, the going will almost certainly be "good" on Saturday, and despite some overnight rain last night, Aintree's Clerk of the Course has declared he may consider watering later in the week as drier weather expected.
At Exeter, the South West Marathon Chase over 3m6f is the highlight. Course specialist VAMIZI was only just beaten here LTO and with Rate Of Knots likely to be a non-runner, his odds could contract from the 5/1 available with Bet365 right now. What I like about VAMIZI is that he’s straightforward and gives his all – but he is a bit one-paced at the end and, if it’s a battle, it may pay to lay-off you wager at 1.80. Even so, he is the one to be on in this race as he loves Exeter and has stood up to his racing well this season.
Exeter 3:30, VAMIZI, 1pt win @ 5/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)
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