Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Aintree 2018 - Thursday

Four weeks since Cheltenham - in my book the Aintree Grand National meeting remains the trickiest fixture in the jumping calendar.

I certainly won't be shoving anyone out of the road to take an odds-on price about Might Bite in the Betway Bowl at 2.50. Nicky Henderson's charge lost out in the war of attrition with Native River (Definitly Red - ridden hard from some way out - sixth, Tea For Two seventh); after that memorable Gold Cup Harry Fry, trainer of American, said:

"In the conditions at Cheltenham it didn't matter whether you won, were placed, unplaced or didn't finish, you had a hard race."

David Orton points out that in the past decade, of the 13 horses that have run in the Bowl after completing in the Gold Cup, only Silviniaco Conti obliged in 2014. Last year Tea For Two fell at the second in the Gold Cup before beating Cue Card a neck in the Bowl.

Bristol De Mai has undergone wind surgery and comes here fresh but his jumping hasn't convinced as this season has progressed.

Double Shuffle finished a length second to Might Bite in the King George (Tea For Two third) and missed the Gold Cup; that said, he wouldn't want it too soft underfoot and stable form is a concern - just one win recorded since February - while Clan Des Obeaux tries this trip for the first time.

Double Shuffle and Tea For Two appeal as potential each-way plays. At the time of writing Tea For Two is still available at 16/1 in places while Double Shuffle is generally a 12/1 shot.

Tea For Two is the each-way selection, made with Harry Fry's words ringing in my ears...

Two Henderson horses, Apple's Shaira and We Have A Dream, dominate the market for the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (2.20). Dan Skelton is on record as saying an Aintree speed test is likely to suit Nube Negra who finished a creditable third (Padleyourowncanoe fourth) when sent off favourite for the Fred Winter.

I'll monitor the performance of Beau Gosse (in the same ownership as We Have A Dream). This one finished 17 lengths third behind Redicean and Malaya in the Adonis at Kempton in February; easier underfoot conditions could bring about some improvement.


Anonymous said...

Might Bite is the system’s idea of the most probable winner but does look to be priced too short ensuring a few others, including Tea For Two, represent some value but on balance a race I’ll just watch.

RTG,Horse,% WC,Odds
183,MIGHT BITE(IRE),41.99,2.38
181,BRISTOL DE MAI(FR),14.16,7.2
179,DEFINITLY RED(IRE),12.75,8
179,DOUBLE SHUFFLE(IRE),9.52,10.5
178,TEA FOR TWO(GB),9.25,11
172,CLAN DES OBEAUX(FR),4.94,21

An initial look through the rest of the card does not throw up anything either, Unioniste [11/1] might be a bit long and Theflyingportrait stood out at 33/1 but the ground has probably gone against it. A quite start on the betting front beckons for Day 1.

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

More hopeful than confident, TW.

GeeDee said...

Those of us who doubted Might Bite's powers of recovery were made to look rather foolish as Nicky Henderson's 4/5 favourite swept aside the challenge of Bristol De Mai (5/1) two form home to win by a comfortable seven lengths with Clan Des Obeaux (8/1) third.

Given a hold-up ride by Lizzie Kelly, selection Tea For Two 12/1 was unable to maintain his position after the cross fence and then made a mistake at the third last. He finished well-beaten in sixth, some 37 lengths behind the impressive winner.

Postscript: Following on from last Saturday's post [entitled 'Sweet Dreams'], I have just been asked why I didn't tip We Have A Dream for the Juvenile Hurdle.

Hindsight - it's a wonderful thing.