A nice 53/1 double on yesterday’s yankee, and very nearly much bigger again made for a good confidence boost as we start the big Grand National meeting and some great re-matches from Cheltenham:
NAP OF THE DAY:
4:40 Eamon An Cnoic, 2pts win, 11/2 generally available
We would put no-one off Forest Bihan who was eye-catching in a fine run at Cheltenham in the Grand Annual and should be even better suited by this course. He looks a big price and has definite each way appeal. However, Eamon An Cnoic was an each way fancy of ours for Cheltenham where he ran a great 4th over a longer trip – would surely have gone close in the Grand Annual (where we really fancied him) had he not run in the Plate instead. This trip should suit and he has a big chance having been raised just 2lbs. The Plate, with a finish fought out by Eamon, Sirah Du Lac, Janika and Spiritofthegames, all well clear of the field, looked a much higher quality affair than a substandard Grand Annual, and Eamon gets the first chance to demonstrate that with a win here.
REST OF THE CARD:
1:45 Kalashnikov, 1pt win, 9/2
La Bague Au Roi has the classic Aintree look having skipped Cheltenham and has top class form when winning at Kempton and Leopardstown. Her past Aintree form is worrying, and this trip on a sharp track may be a bit speedy. We liked Glen Forsa at Cheltenham until he unseated at the fourth, but we didn’t like Kalashnikov, and it was noticeable that we were on course to be badly wrong as he was going really well when unseating halfway. Didn’t have a tough race, but that happy disposition is key to a horse who had been sulking previously. Finally steps up in trip, and that has looked likely to suit for a long time.
2:20 Fakir D’Oudaries, 1pt win, 4/1
Here’s another we were dead set against at Cheltenham. He would have disappointed many with his 4th in the Supreme, but he actually finished well having lost his position coming down the hill. It’s a long was home here after they turn in, and he may be the one most suited to this track. Band Of Outlaws is all class but will struggle for cover up this straight and his run could peter out. Pentland Hills may be the bigger danger but he has come a long way quickly and has to turn around in a shorter timeframe than his rivals.
2:50 Bristol De Mai, 1p win, 3/1
Completing something of a treble of horses we hated at Cheltenham, Bristol De Mai ran way above expectations when 3rd in the Gold Cup. The angles here are twofold – has Bristol improved such that he is no longer the one-track (Haydock) bully of old, that Gold Cup run suggests maybe – and will he get his own way on the lead, which looks likely in this company. Clan Des Obeaux is an obvious threat if stamina was his only shortcoming in the Gold Cup, but Kemboy is probably more of a danger on Leopardstown form, but if Bristol De Mai finds a jumping rhythm, then he looks the one.
3:25 Buveur D’Air, 1pt win, 10/11
Very tempted by Summerville Boy, and our Cheltenham hero Silver Streak as each way picks here, but the one is recovering from injury and good old Silver gave everything in that Cheltenham mud. The obvious one is Buveur D’Air, a two time Champion Hurdler and a good winner of this two years ago. He fell halfway in the Champion, which at least spared him too taxing a race. Jumping has been a slight issue – he is exceptional but treads a fine line with his risk-taking – but that aside he should have too much for most of these who did give everything three short weeks ago.
4:05 Road To Rome, 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
A huge field of hunter chasers and amateur riders over the National fences should be a cause for caution. That said, Sam Waley-Cohen rides this course really well and has the ideal partner in Road To Rome. He was on board when they blasted away at the front at Cheltenham only to fail late on to see out the 3m2f trip. Those tactics at this shorter race distance look like a perfect marriage. Of the outsiders, Seefood has some appeal as he is unexposed in this company and has a runner-up finish over these fences in his back catalogue.
5:15 The Glancing Queen, 1pt win, 11/2 generally available
A mares bumper and one in which unexposed winners take on form-lines from some of the championship events. Not a race to get wildly involved in. We liked The Glancing Queen as an each way shout at Cheltenham against the boys and she ran a pretty creditable 5th. That was a long way from being the best Cheltenham Bumper we will ever see, nonetheless it was a solid effort and entitles her to go close here.
The Daily Yankee:
Fakir D’Oudairies – Buveur D’Air – Road To Rome – Eamon An Cnoic
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