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Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.


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Thursday 9 April 2015

Aintree meeting Day 1 - 9th April 2015

What a cracking weekend of horseracing we have ahead of us, with the climax on Saturday being the Grand National. I'll be posting a blog on each of the 3 days of racing, and I'll also be posting on twitter (@wayward_lad) throughout the days' racing.  We have some tremendous racing today, including the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl Chase over 3m1f, and the spectacle of the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase over the National fences for amateur riders.

Before we go into assessing the races, take note that at Aintree the top trainers dominate the meeting: those with the perfect combination of high strike-rates and most individual winners are Henderson, Nicholls, Hobbs, Twiston-Davies, and King. A special mention should also be made for Peter Bowen, and Tom George - but the likes of Pipe, O'Neill and McCain don't do well here.

The opening race at 1:40pm is a Grade 1 novice chase over 2m4f, and this will be a trip into unknown stamina territory for most. The race fav Josses Hill has not looked like staying 2m4f in a couple of attempts to date so I'm happy to oppose him. And the Nicholls entry Vibrato Valtat has not looked a 2m4f horse either. Clarcam just doesn't look good enough to justify his OR153 rating, and while Three Kingdoms has won over this trip as a hurdler, he doesn't look a natural jumper of a fence. That takes me to CASH AND GO who has won both his completed chases (he unseated his rider on his chase debut in February). He has come to chasing late being an 8yo, and he won easily LTO at Towcester over a similar trip with NTO winner Crazy Jack beaten a distance (34-lengths). A good handicap hurdler on his day, he's not a 20/1 chance - yet those are his odds with Bet365.

Next on the card at 2:15pm is a juvenile hurdle over 2m1f and I will be very surprised if the Henderson entry HARGAM does not win this. Henderson supplied the 1st-3 in this years Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and none of his rivals today look capable of beating him.

The feature race is at 2:40pm and the Betfred Bowl has some of those beaten in the Cheltenham Gold Cup seeking to find recompense. Last year, Silviniaco Conti came here and won this race after running in the Gold Cup. The next day, Holywell came out and won the Grade 1 novice chase over C&D in a much faster time beating what looks in hindsight to have been a much stronger field. He also beat "Conti" in the Gold Cup last month, staying on much stronger than his rival. We will see improved form from Conti today, but this track also suits Holywell and I favour his chances. Of the others, Ma Filleule even with the 7lb mares allowance should not prove good enough. This trip is a couple of furlongs too long for Menorah and so it is more likely that Smad Place will take 3rd place. Holywell should win this but, at just 2/1 he's not an advised wager from me as I don't advise wagers at odds less than 9/4.

The Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle over 2m4f is at 3:25pm, and this race looks interesting. I make no bones about it: I was surprised by the performance of Arctic Fire in the Champion Hurdle last month. Whether this 6yo can repeat that level of performance over this trip is debateable. Ex-Champion hurdler Jezki is - in my opinion - not a natural hurdler! He makes far too many errors costing him ground and energy, and you just have to wonder how good he would be if he did hurdle cleanly. In his favour today is that he has won a Grade 1 hurdle over this trip in Ireland, so stamina is not an issue for him - but is he good enough?  Last year, I tipped Rock On Ruby in this race at 14/1 and at 100/30 without the fav - and he came 2nd beaten just a head. He's only 4/1 this year, but he has the form in the book and hasn't looked like he's feeling his age in he last couple of races. With nothing else likely to come close in this ROCK ON RUBY at 4/1 (with Bet365, Paddy Power and Bet Victor) looks the wager.

I'm going to pass on the Fox Hunters Chase at 4:05pm, as you really do need luck in running to win this race, and move on to the next race on the card at 4:40 which is a 2-mile handicap chase.  Next Sensation and Ned Buntine finished 1st and 4th in the same race at Cheltenham, and they will be in the shake-up. Claret Cloak was the 7/2 fav for this last year and ran 3rd off OR146 but, now rated 7lb higher, is unlikely to better that effort. This race looks the sort to throw-up a long priced winner and I'm going to go a bit left-field and nominate a horse that has been on my alert list for a couple of years, but has spent most of that time off the track - BABY MIX. Last seen at Ascot in December 2013, he's been injured since then having probably picked up the injury in that race. Why he's on my list is due to the race before that when he walloped Turn Over Sivola (now rated OR139) by 18-lengths at level weights. As such, his rating today of OR135 looks very workable. Add to that he's a front-running sort and he looks an interesting eachway wager at 25/1 with Bet365 and Betfred.

Todays Selections
Aintree 3:25 ROCK ON RUBY, £10 win @ 4/1 (Bet365, Bet Victor, and Paddy Power)
Aintree 4:40 BABY MIX, £5 eachway @ 25/1 (Bet365 and Betfred, both quarter-odds 1,2,3,4)
Total staked = £20

Don't forget to take a look at my Grand National page for my assessment of the runners in the world's greatest race.

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