Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Aintree 2017 - Thursday

Three weeks after Cheltenham, to my mind this still remains one of the trickiest meetings in the racing calendar  - so much so that I was on the verge of refraining from posting a selection for Thursday's card for the first time since the blog's inception in 2006.

Having tipped Cue Card for last month's Gold Cup, I'm not inclined to venture an opinion on his well-being ahead of the Betfair Bowl at 2.50. His jumping wasn't quite up to the mark last time, even before he came to grief three out; on official ratings he has four pounds in hand over Empire Of Dirt.

Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air is short enough for the Aintree Hurdle (3.25) on his first try over two and half miles; of the six declared only Identity Thief and The New One have previously won over the distance.

I've never considered myself much of a royalist but for a first day each-way wager I'll chance Forth Bridge, owned by The Queen, in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at 2.20.

At the Festival Defi Du Seuil was atypical in that he won his selected race, the Triumph Hurdle, in the manner the odds beforehand suggested he should - Landlin was some fourteen lengths behind in eighth.

A neck separated Flying Tiger and Divin Bere in the Fred Winter but the latter is now five pounds better off and looks weighted to reverse placings. That said, both runners looked to have had a hard enough race while Forth Bridge comes to this (as) fresh (as a daisy) after winning the Triumph Hurdle trial at Musselburgh at the beginning of February.

On official ratings Forth Bridge has six pounds to find with Divin Bere and two to find with Flying Tiger. On a (possibly ambiguous) form line through Project Bluebook, fourth in the Fred Winter, a case can be made Forth Bridge has around four pounds to find with Divin Bere. Drying ground is preferable; the going stick readings indicate the management team at Aintree have done plenty of watering in the build-up...

20/1 was available earlier but has now disappeared; bet365 offer 16/1 a quarter the odds three places. Forth Bridge is the each-way suggestion provided, of course, the eight runners make it to post.


Anonymous said...

It is hard to get away from Defi Du Seuil and I’d not want to take him on for win purposes but I do like the case you have made for Forth Bridge and he continues to be supported in the early market (now 14/1). The only other one I’d mention at a huge price (66/1) is Bedrock. He really ran no sort of race when thrown in at the deep end on his debut over hurdles in the Adonis but still manged to finish just over a length behind Flying Tiger albeit in receipt of 7lbs. If he can get his act together here he could run a much improved race and I’d not be totally surprised to see him make the frame.

I’d like to see Cue Card win and then bow out but at the odds I’m not sure there is any value. It has the look of a race that might provide an upset and I’m going to take a chance that Tea For Two can give Lizzy Kelly another big race win. He is only 8, still looks to be progressive and if he is none the worse for his Gold Cup tumble he should be fairly fresh for this race, 16/1 (18’s with Betfair) was bigger than I priced him up at.

Good Luck


GeeDee said...

Hi TW,

Yes, Tea For Two caught my attention and is of interest. He boiled over in the Gold Cup preliminaries; Lizzie Kelly has since said:

"... it's hard with a horse like him who gets quite nervous off the buzz of a racecourse."

RP reports connections have done work with him in the meantime, looking to restore confidence after the fall, and I'm sure they'll do their utmost to ensure he gets to post in better fettle than at Cheltenham. I'm not tempted to part with the hard-earned, but if he can establish a rhythm early on, I think he will run a nice race.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Excellent tipping, TW!

Bedrock (25/1) made third place behind Defi Du Seuil (4/11f) and Divin Bere (7/2) while Tea For Two (10/1) ran a very nice race indeed to pip Cue Card (2/1f) a neck in the Betway Bowl.

Selection Forth Bridge (7/1) led the field but the writing was on the wall coming to two out; he faded to finish fifth, beaten a neck for fourth by Flying Tiger but some 23 lengths behind the odds-on favourite.

Anonymous said...

A good 1st day…… won’t last!

Betfair Sportsbook look a little out of line offering 14/1 against Alan King’s The Unit, I know you follow the yard quite closely, any thoughts?


GeeDee said...

Hi TW,

What I like about Alan King is that in an age full of hyperbole, he's an understated gent who will generally call it as he sees it; I'm interpreting his comments in the Weekender.

He describes Uxizandre as his 'star turn on Friday'. He points out The Unit is 8 pounds behind the top one (Moon Racer) so he's entitled to take his chance and 'we'll find out how good he is'.

The horse's confidence is high. However he concludes:

"But I hope they go a good gallop - he's coming back in trip and could do with a strong pace."

RPR ratings: River Wylde 158, Mount Mews 157, Moon Racer 150, The Unit 149.
TopSpeed ratings: River Wylde 142, Mount Mews 136, High Secret 134, Pingshou 128, The Unit 126.

I think he'll get the pace but his last race over two miles was in November since when he has won over two miles five on g/s at Doncaster and twice over two miles three on good at Taunton.

His comments and the TopSpeed ratings say to me that the step back in trip is not to the horse's advantage.

Not sure if that's very helpful; on balance it would be a no-play for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks PG, very helpful.

I have The Unit rated 159 joint top with River Wylde and Moon Racer just behind on 158 and then a bit of a gap to the field. Which is why the 14/1 caught my eye!

I'm still working through the cards but I am leaning towards a bet on The Unit and I'll post a comment on your Friday post once complete.

Thanks again


GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW!