Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Aintree 2021 - Thursday

Earlier this week,  following on from the domination of Irish runners at Cheltenham, Paddy Power offered a £100,000 bonus to any British runner who travels to Punchestown and wins the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle. 

A spokesperson for the  bookmaker said:

"We gave the Brits a beating at Cheltenham and now we're laying down a challenge to the tune of £100k - come and have a go if you think you're good enough."

Irish-trained entries at this Aintree meeting are bound to attract plenty of attention - and money. 

In the 2019 Grand National Irish trained horses filled four of the first five places (from 18 entries); in the 2018 renewal Irish trained horses filled six of the first eight places (from 16 entries).

In tomorrow's Aintree Hurdle (3.25) the Paul Nicholls trained McFabulous has been deposed at the head of the market by Abacadabras, with strong support also noted for Henry De Bromhead's charge Jason The Militant. 

Back in November Abacadabras beat Saint Roi a neck with Jason The Militant a short-head away in third in a messy-looking renewal of the Morgiana Hurdle over two miles at Punchestown; neither Abacadabras or Jason The Militant has raced further than two miles half a furlong previously.

In a competitive race I like the chance of Brewin'upastorm; he's closely matched with McFabulous on Fontwell National Spirit Hurdle form five and a half weeks ago.   

Henry De Bromhead saddles two in the Red Rum Handicap Chase (4.40), the only handicap race on tomorrow's card - 2019 winner Moon Over Germany and Jan Maat, the mount of Rachael Blackmore. The former has been well supported during the day.

I was impressed with Clondaw Castle's victory in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton. That day Mellow Ben took no prisoners racing hard from the front but Tom George's charge travelled sweetly in midfield to take up the running two out on his first try over three miles. 

He steps up in class in the Betway Bowl (2.50) but looks relatively unexposed. The layers aren't taking too many chances with the 7/1 on offer. 

Following a well-documented spat with the British handicapper, connections of Tiger Roll have opted to run in this rather than Saturday's Grand National. The horse looked ready for retirement on his penultimate run at Naas when he came in 65 lengths last of six behind Beacon Edge. 

A little over three weeks later 'The Tiger' came home in splendid isolation in the cross country race at the Festival. His price has been on the drift this afternoon but on official ratings he only has a couple of pounds to find with the principals.

Returning to the Aintree Hurdle I'm tempted to take a small each-way interest in Not So Sleepy. Hughie Morrison's front-runner didn't run from the front in the Champion Hurdle and came home fifth - at odds of 125/1. William Hill paid five places that day but I didn't take the chance. 

Not So Sleepy is a bit of a character and certainly wouldn't be guaranteed to reproduce his latest effort. 

This represents his first try over two and a half miles; he has twice finished fourth in the Cesarewitch - a trip of two miles two furlongs - behind the Willie Mullins trained Stratum in 2019 and the Willie Mullins trained Great White Shark in 2020. 

He needs a decent start but if in the mood he could run well at a track that will suit his style of racing and Jonathan Burke gets on well with him.

I'll take a small each-way interest in Not So Sleepy, a 20/1 chance with Sky Bet and Paddy Power at the time of writing, both of whom pay four places.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Rachael Blackmore looked in control at the head of affairs on Jason The Militant (3/1f) but the horse jinked right jumping the fifth from home and Rachael hit the turf.

Abracadabras (5/1) took up the running between the final two flights and led at the last but had to work hard enough to beat Buzz (22/1) one and a quarter lengths with 80/1 chance Millers Bank running a fine race to claim third.

With the departure of Jason The Militant selection Not So Sleepy (20/1) took up the running but was headed four from home and weakened noticeably before the penultimate flight, eventually finishing seventh, just under ten lengths behind the winner.