Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Aintree Thursday

Over the years I've found this meeting extremely tricky. Many of the entries have been trained primarily for Cheltenham in March; just three short weeks later and Liverpool pops up. How much has Cheltenham taken out of the top horses? Will the selection act around Aintree? In the past, for me personally, a cautious approach has proved the better course to follow.

Five go to post in the totepsort Bowl at 2.35 including Kauto Star. It's interesting to note that in today's Weekender a couple of commentators are prepared to take on the Gold Cup second with Gungadu. I'd be wary about betting KS at short odds as, to my mind, he had quite a hard race behind Denman. Exotic Dancer may have come on for the run at Cheltenham following his training setback while Our Vic should have no stamina concerns on this flat track. A trappy affair that I'll watch from the sidelines.

I'd expect Inglis Drever to take the opener but his price will make little appeal. The 3.10 looks between Celestial Halo and Binocular on paper; Harper Valley can be a tricky ride and has something to find with the two top-rated horses but his defeat of Franchoek last December reads well. Speaking of Franchoek, he tries two and a half miles for the first time in the 4.55; I'm not convinced it will prove his best trip and may oppose with Donald McCain's mare Whiteoak.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Gold Cup second Kauto Star was sent off the 4/7 favourite. He went to win his race three out but made a hash of the second last allowing Our Vic another bite at the cherry. The David Pipe runner, a 9/1 shot, prevailed on the line by a nose with Exotic Dancer third.
Beforehand connections of Inglis Drever stated publicly the World Hurdle at Cheltenham had been their main aim - anything else would be a bonus. ID was sent off the 13/8 favourite and appeared to be struggling after one circuit. He improved to finish a staying-on third but winner Blazing Bailey (5/1), sporting blinkers for the first time, had flown and beat 20/1 shot Faasel six lengths.
Binocular (11/8f) beat Celestial Halo (7/4) with Harper Valley (7/1) third. HV's jumping let him down noticeably in the home straight.
A better jump at the last may have seen Whiteoak (4/1) finish closer than the one and a quarter lengths she was beaten by Elusive Dream (7/2). Franchoek (9/4f) finished third.