Aintree’s Grand National meeting kicks off on Thursday and, as ever, that means we have four consecutive Grade 1s to get stuck into.
13:45: Big Buck’s Celebration Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
CYRNAME missed the Cheltenham Festival – where his form with JLT second Terrefort was firmly franked – and he has worthy claims of being favourite for this Grade 1 novices’ chase. It’s difficult to make a strong case for Modus, Brain Power or the wayward Finian’s Oscar given the forecast soft ground.
1pt win Cyrname @9/4
Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
Let’s give Triumph Hurdle flop APPLE’S SHAKIRA a go in a race her sister Apple’s Jade ran away with in similar conditions a few years ago. Her fourth in the Triumph Hurdle was still good form and she was ahead of all the British-trained runners that day, so she remains the form horse in this race. I’m not sure about We Have A Dream’s claims of being favourite at her expense, so it’s a case of backing the better price. Malaya and Nube Negra are both threats but both might want better ground.
1pt win Apple’s Shakira @9/4
Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1)
The only conceivable reason to take on MIGHT BITE here is the quick turnaround since his mighty second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He’s not had a difficult campaign, having run only three times, so I don’t see that as a big issue and he’s by far the best horse in this race. The drop in trip and fresh-though-soft ground is in his favour so, at 5/6, I don’t really see why we should look for a fruity price elsewhere.
Recommended bet: 2pts win Might Bite @5/6