Aintree Friday: Hill to thrill…

Bookended our day with winners yesterday in Kalashnikov and The Glancing Queen, enough to be a little ahead, but the fresh rain certainly changed the going and this looks like a day for speculation…

NAP OF THE DAY:

4:05  Ballyhill,  2pts win,  12/1

Firstly a big shout out to my good friend Phil and his horse Bigmartre.  He looks very overpriced at 50/1 as this has always looked the race for him and he could take to these fences well.  That said he was a long way behind Janika at Cheltenham and it is easy to see why that classy type is a market leader despite lumping top weight.  But when Janika ran a fine second in January, Ballyhill was third and he gets a weight pull of a stone. Ballyhill won well on the regulation course here, when putting in a superb round of jumping.  He could take to these fences for a stable who love to win here and look like they have targeted this for some time.

REST OF THE CARD:

1:45  Knight In Dubai,  1pt win, 16/1

Some massive gambles here on the inexperienced Tedham and Esprit Du Large.  They look short enough and the Coral Cup could be the place to look.  Brio Conti cruised to the lead there but didn’t last home, this track should suit, the ground maybe less so.  Canardier was just behind him and can improve although he may have preferred it to stay dry.  We’ll risk Knight In Dubai, miles behind in the Coral Cup, but another who cruised into the lead there, but far too early and faded right away.  That will not have been lost on Harry Skelton, and if he can reverse tactics and play the hold him til late game, then he could spring a big surprise.

2:20   Felix Desjy,  1pt win,  11/2

Itchy Feet is the favourite here off the back of a fine 3rd in the Supreme at Cheltenham.  That was excellent, but he picked up the pieces somewhat after winner Klassical Dream burnt off his main challengers.  Chief amongst those was the smooth travelling Felix Desjy who looked the winner’s biggest threat but faded out on the final hill.  There is no Klassical Dream here, and with a strong pace assured, his easy style can take him deep enough into the race to win.  Compatriot Aramon may be the biggest danger having not enjoyed Cheltenham, but the rain doesn’t help him.

2:50  Topofthegame, 1pt win,  4/5

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too clever.  Topofthegame won the novice event of the season in the RSA at Cheltenham, always looked as though this flat track may actually suit more, and hasn’t had the hardest of seasons even if that RSA was a tough one.  Lostintranslation is the biggest threat and much has been made of the promise of him stepping up in trip, but that is far from proven, and the favourite looks by far the most likely winner.

3:25  Politilogue,  1pt win,  9/4

Won this race last year narrowly from Min.  That was a big reversal of Cheltenham form, but that won’t be necessary this time as Politilogue did much the better of the two at Cheltenham this time when running the mighty Altior close.  Has to beat the mercurial Waiting Patiently, for whom the rain is a bonus, but he hasn’t yet had the chance to show he is the same horse this year as he was when impressive last season.

4:40  Trevelyns Corn,  1pt win,  16/1

This is a race rich with a history of surprise results.  Favourites Champ and Dallas Des Pictons are both free travelling sorts for whom this test may stretch their stamina, whilst much as we like Lisnagar Oscar, the Albert Bartlett is the kind of race it can take 3 years to recover from let alone 3 weeks.  A maiden winner can spring a surprise here, and trainer Paul Nicholls rarely overtests his young horses.  Trevelyns Corn is a point to point winner who improved to win comfortably in a small race at Wincanton last time.   This is a massive step up, but he could be worth a flutter to spring a surprise.

5:15  Santa Rossa,  1pt win,  7/2

It looks significant that even though this meeting offers a valuable mares bumper, connections of Santa Rossa have decided to pitch her in against the boys.  She gets a handy weight allowance and comes to this Grade 2 as an existing Grade 2 winner.  That came in impressive fashion in the mares bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.  Leopardstown maps well to Aintree, and the fact that she has missed Cheltenham and yesterday’s mares bumper makes this entry telling.

The Daily Yankee:

Felix Desjy – Topofthegame – Ballyhill – Santa Rossa

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