No winners yesterday from our two selections, but we had a good run from our eachway wager on 25/1 chance BABY MIX. He looked like being placed until getting squeezed and losing a fair few lengths at the 3rd-last fence when badly hampered by the weakening fav Next Sensation. Even so, he stayed-on to be only just over a length off 4th place. There were some good performances yesterday and I was most impressed with CLARCAM in the opening race over 2m4f as he won this with a tonne in-hand. This 5yo could be exceptional next season.
The running style of SILVINIACO CONTI means that he only ever seems to do just enough to win as he is a relentless galloper. I rated it a solid performance but not his best ever (that was - in my opinion - his first King George win) and I have it about 7lb shy of Coneygree in the Gold Cup last month.
The opening couple of hurdle races look very tough today, so I'm starting my assessment with the Mildmay Novices Chase at 2:50pm over 3m1f. This looks a good novice chase, and the fav Saphir Du Rheu did me a favour when winning the Cleeve Hurdle at the Cheltenham Trials meeting in January, and then was only beaten by the winner in the World Hurdle at the Festival. Reverting to chasing today, he could take some beating as he looked a serious chaser in the making when winning at Exeter in December. However, odds of just 2/1 are poor value considering he is untried as a chaser at this trip, and his jumping fell apart at Kempton when he last went chasing. For me, the value in the race is CAROLES DESTRIER at 7/1 with Bet365 who pay quarter-odds a place. He's proven at 3-mile, comes here fit and well having bypassed Cheltenham, and has an exceptional speed rating.
Next up is the Betfred Melling Chase over 2m4f at 3:25pm and we have a tremendous quality field for this, one that would grace any festival in any year - absolutely top class. The race fav is Champagne Fever and he missed his run in the Champion Chase last month when bitten by a stablemate. Personally, I just don't think he's shown he is good enough yet over fences and I have him at 158+. The ground will possibly be too quick for Don Cossack, who was 2nd in the Mildmay Novice Chase over 3m1f last year. I wagered on Al Ferof antepost for the Ryanair Chase, and he missed that race thru' injury. He has perhaps the best form on paper this season judged on his win at Ascot last November, and he ran a solid race in the King George over a trip that is too far for him. Odds of 13/2 look generous in my opinion for a horse who goes best when fresh.
The last time Cue Card ran over this trip was when he was 2nd in this race in 2013 to Sprinter Sacre, recording a career-best of 174 in my book in the process. He's not looked near that level of form this season over 3-mile and this drop in trip could be the making of him. It is a small leap of faith, but odds of 7/1 could look extremely generous come 3:30pm. Course winner Balder Succes will love todays trip and ground, and he has youth on his side, so he won't be far away. It will surprise me if Sire De Grugy stays this trip, and he's never looked happiest around Aintree on his previous visits here. John's Spirit is an autumn horse, and doesn't look good enough as do the others - Simply Ned, Wishful Thinking and Croco Bay.
For me, it's between Al Ferof, Cue Card and Balder Succes, and at the odds CUE CARD is the selection as he's always been a better horse than Al Ferof, and if Cue Card were not running then I'd be all over Al Ferof at 13/2 given the form that Paul Nicholls has his stable in.
Aintree 2:50 CAROLES DESTRIER, £5 eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Aintree 3:25 CUE CARD, £5 eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
plus a £5 eachway double
Total stakes = £30
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Friday, 10 April 2015
Aintree meeting Day 2 - 10th April 2015
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