Thursday, April 08, 2021

Aintree 2021 - very brief notes on Friday's card

Pressed for time this evening unfortunately...

Two I thought worth a second look in the Topham (4.05 - run over the National fences): Senior Citizen and Sir Jack Yeats.

In the Weekender Alan King appears more bullish about the chance of Senior Citizen than his two National entries, namely Canelo and Talkischeap. It's well known the Grand National is not one of Mr King's favourite races:

"Friday's Randox Topham Handicap Chase has been the plan for Senior Citizen all season, and he could run a big race.

"He ran really well over the fences in the Grand Sefton on ground too soft for him in December. His jumping was super and he travelled strongly for most of the way before failing to get home having been in second place at the last fence. 

"He shaped encouragingly at Newbury on his return from a winter break and has been in good form at home since.

The forecast looks favourable and I just hope they don't over-water the track as he's a proper good-ground horse."

Current stable form is a concern with just one winner from 35 runners in the past fortnight.

Sir Jack Yeats is of interest on the back of his five length second to Beau Bay in the Grand Sefton; he raced from three pounds out of the handicap that day and is four pounds 'wrong' tomorrow. 

He took over the lead from Crievehill at the sixth in the Sefton and jumped the last two lengths ahead of his field but he was thwarted by Beau Bay creeping up the inside on the run to the elbow, eventually beaten five lengths.

Richard Spencer's charge followed up with a respectable third behind Doitforthevillage at Sandown at the turn of the year and was then given a break before taking in a couple of runs at Fakenham, most recently over hurdles. He was beaten 23 lengths that day and I'd like to think that helped bring the gelding back to peak fitness...

In tomorrow's Sefton Novices' Hurdle (4.40) Bravemansgame steps up in distance but is a Lingstown point winner over three miles; he is some way clear of his rivals on official ratings. 

That said, Joe Tizzard reported Oscar Elite 'bucking and squealing' after finishing second behind Vanillier at Cheltenham three weeks ago - those in behind re-opposing tomorrow include Streets Of Doyen (third), Alaphilippe (fifth), Champagnesuperover (seventh) and Pats Fancy (thirteenth).

Finally, a list of Irish trained entries in handicaps for those readers following a thread from previous posts...

1.45 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle:


4.05 Topham Handicap Chase:

Livelovelaugh; Visioman; Snugsborough Hall; Dunvegan; Robin Des Foret.

5.15 Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle:

Bold Enough.

By way of a postscript I haven't completely given up on Rowland Ward who runs in the finale. He went into the notebook over a year ago when badly hampered in a Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham. 

Unfortunately he has had a tough time of it this year and underwent wind surgery in February. 

Last time out he finished fourth behind Xcitations, losing three places after jumping the penultimate flight; Xcitations ran well behind Vision Du Puy at Haydock last weekend. I'd hope the better ground and fitting of a tongue-tie will help Stuart Edmunds' charge to finish off his race.

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