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Aintree Festival 2018 – Day 2 Tips

There is live televised coverage of the second day of the Grand National Festival from 2-5pm on ITV, featuring four Grade One races.

Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle    

It’s ladies’ day at Aintree today so there would be no more fitting winner of the opener than SPIRITOFTHEGAMES who has the excellent Bridget Andrews on board.

Andrews proved her talent by winning the County Hurdle at Cheltenham on stablemate Mohaayed, a race in which Spiritofthegames was a staying on fifth. Our selection was also doing his best work at the end of the Betfair Hurdle when third, so this 2m 4f on a flat track should be ideal.

The same is true for Lough Derg Spirit who ran over this trip for the first time in the Martin Pipe at the Festival. He was sixth that day, but closing at the finish, so the trip clearly suited. He remains relatively unexposed over hurdles and Nicky Henderson has his horses in fine form at the moment. He is a big danger.

However, narrow preference is for another horse who appeared at Cheltenham, WHO DARES WINS. The three mile trip of the Pertemps just stretched him there, and he was collared close home, but this flatter track will also play to his strengths more than the unique test of the Prestbury Park circuit.

Of those at massive prices, don’t rule out the consistent CORNBOROUGH who looks ready for this step up in trip. Another plus is that he has won here before.

Paddy Power and William Hill are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Spiritofthegames (ew)1.45 Aintree9/1Paddy Power
Who Dares Wins (ew)1.45 Aintree9/1William Hill
Cornborough (ew)1.45 Aintree50/1Paddy Power

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle    

The Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle looks to be between Global Citizen and VISION DES FLOS, and we prefer the latter after his fine effort in a top class renewal of the Ballymore at Cheltenham. He tanked through that race, but appeared not to stay the trip when fading into fifth, so he is clearly worth a try back at the minimum distance. Nobody has ridden this course better in the last season or two than his pilot, Robbie Power.

On paper, it doesn’t look the strongest of renewals of this race and something could easily creep into the frame at a big price. The outsider we like is BEDROCK who ran a blinder to finish third in the Doom Bar here last season on only his second start over hurdles. He has since moved to Iain Jardine’s yard and looked to be back to his best when hacking up at Musselburgh recently. A wind operation may have been the key.

Coral are offering 4 places for each-way bets on this race.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Vision Des Flos (ew)2.20 Aintree4/1Coral
Bedrock (ew)2.20 Aintree50/1Coral

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase    

Next up is the Mildmay Novices’ Chase where Henderson again holds strong claims courtesy of TERREFORT. He was second in the JLT last time out and if he finds any improvement for this longer trip he will be very hard to beat.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Terrefort (win)2.50 Aintree7/2Paddy Power

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

JLT Melling Chase   

The day’s big race is the Melling Chase, which sees a potentially thrilling clash between Ryanair winner, Balko Des Flos, and Champion Chase runner up, Min.

Of the two, preference would be for Balko Des Flos, but in the hope that there might be an upset we would suggest backing CLOUDY DREAM and LE PREZIEN instead.

Cloudy Dream was third in the Ryanair, but the very soft ground and stiff track didn’t play to his strengths at all. He is a strong traveller and this trip and track look perfect for him, especially if the ground dries out a bit.

Le Prezien scooted clear in the closing stages of the Grand Annual and he may finally be getting his act together. He should stay the trip and has the natural talent to run a big race if his sometimes sketchy jumping stands up.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Cloudy Dream (ew)3.25 Aintree14/1Paddy Power
Le Prezien (ew)3.25 Aintree20/1Paddy Power

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase   

The action over the Grand National fences takes place in the Topham at 4.05pm and there are question marks over plenty of the runners either on the basis of the trip or the ground.

FLYING ANGEL is one who looks potentially well treated after a poor season so far. He won a grade 1 at this meeting last year and a wind op may bring him back to his best. The same is true of POLIDAM, whilst EASTLAKE and SHANAHAN’S TURN look best of the outsiders in a wide open race.

Others on a lengthy shortlist include Ballyalton and Theatre Territory.

Ladbrokes and Paddy Power are offering 6 places for each-way bets on this race.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Flying Angel (ew)4.05 Aintree12/1Ladbrokes
Polidam (ew)4.05 Aintree12/1Bet365
Eastlake (ew)4.05 Aintree28/1Bet365
Shanahan’s Turn (ew)4.05 Aintree20/1Paddy Power

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Our tips in the later races are:

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Roksana (ew)4.40 Aintree11/1Unibet
Good Man Pat (ew)4.40 Aintree50/1Paddy Power
Mercy Mercy Me (ew)5.15 Aintree9/1Paddy Power
Sevarano (ew)5.15 Aintree13/2Paddy Power

 

All odds quoted are subject to change