A Day To Oppose The Favourites At Aintree
It’s a unique day in the British jumps racing calendar with four races at the highest level on one card. Not even a single day at the Cheltenham Festival can boast four Grade 1 races but the Aintree Grand National meeting begins with four such races today. The star of the show is Might Bite. The Gold Cup runner-up is only the second highest rated horse behind Bristol de Mai in the Betway Bowl (2.50) but is still the odds-on favourite to win the opening day feature. DOUBLE SHUFFLE was placed in the King George behind Might Bite and can cause an upset at 12/1 with Betfair.
The meeting that culminates in the greatest race in the world begins this year 27 days after the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. That is ample recovery time so more horses can run at both the major spring festivals. Apple’s Shakira was backed if defeat was out of the question for the Triumph Hurdle but the horse was only fourth as the clear market leader. On previous form Apple’s Shaikra is an animal with great potential and in time could turn out to be the best horse in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle (2.20). MALAYA gets the 7 pounds mares’ allowance and can be backed at 7/1.
The Aintree card begins with a novices’ chase (1.45) that has a small but select field of six runners. Bookmakers will settle each way bets on the first two places so most of the betting will be in the win market. Only one of the runners can be dismissed which leaves a long short list of five horses. Cyrname missed Cheltenham and on collateral form is a worthy favourite. FINIAN’S OSCAR won a Grade 1 hurdle at the meeting last year and can put in a good round of jumping to win this Grade 1 chase and that outcome is 9/2 with Ladbrokes.
Buveur D‘Air won the Champion Hurdle for the second time last month but misses the Aintree Hurdle (3.25) due to a minor injury. Supasundae was second in the stayers’ hurdle and the intermediate distance of today’s race should not be a problem. The New One and My Tent Or Yours have been around for years and both horses have place prospects today. L’AMI SERGE is difficult to win with but the horse could have his day in the sun and is on offer at 13/2 with William Hill.