Thursday, April 04, 2013

Aintree 2013 - Friday is Ladies' Day

Sprinter Sacre, famously described three weeks ago as 'a steeplechaser from the gods' by Simon Holt following victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, steps up to two and a half miles in the John Smith's Melling Chase at 3.05.

A newspaper story earlier in the week reported trainer Nicky Henderson phoning his jockey Barry Geraghty at a late hour, having suffered three sleepless nights wondering whether the great horse would stay the trip.

Geraghty instantly told his boss to man up, stop worrying and then went on to reprimand the handler for not having phoned earlier... I shall watch from the sidelines but both Cue Card and Flemenstar can make this competitive - those so inclined can back both those horses and still obtain much better odds than layers quote about the favourite.

Four of the six runners in the Mildmay Novices' Chase (2.30) had hard enough races at Cheltenham 22 days ago so I'll side with Rocky Creek and opt to sidestep the Topham (3.40) after 100/1 chance Tartan Snow won the Fox Hunters' Chase over the National fences earlier today. For those who can't resist temptation Gullible Gordon (20/1) carrying a racing weight is the each-way suggestion on the back of his sixth in the Becher here last December - the stable has won the past three runnings of the race with Always Waining (declared for Saturday's National).

At Fishers Cross looks the one to beat in the Sefton (4.15). I'd expect a much better showing from Gevrey Chambetrin after his running at the Festival but I'm not certain the step up in trip will suit.

The opener looks strangely uncompetitive but there are some nice sorts in the concluding mares' bumper. Kim Bailey's Molly's A Diva puts her unbeaten record on the line - she finished ahead of five of these opponents last time out in a listed event run at Sandown on heavy ground.

The change in underfoot conditions here could easily see a reverse of the form. Carole's Spirit ran a good race in second that day but had previously been beaten on good ground when with a different trainer while Free Thinking lost her position two from home before staying on again for third. Centasia made some late headway and may come on but I'll consider taking a small each-way interest in Alan King's Our Pollyanna (14/1).

In the Weekender the trainer reports this one definitely hated the ground at Sandown so we can expect some improvement to come while the booking of Barry Geraghty catches the eye.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Rocky Creek (9/4jf) had no answer to Dynaste (9/4jf) who won this easily, with Third Intention (16/1) taking second place while the selecton came home a very moderate third.

The bumper was won by Legacy Gold (9/1) with Carole's Spirit (11/1) finishing best of the horses from the Sandown race in third. I may have thougth there was improvement to come from Our Pollyanna (16/1) but she weakened markedly at the two furlong pole after racing prominently, finishing thirteenth.