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2019 Aintree Festival recap – Five beaten horses to follow next season

Jonathan Vine 9 Apr 2019
Emitom (second right, red) running a fine race behind Champ (right, near) in the Sefton.

Our expert looks back on the Grand National meeting at Aintree and picks out five beaten horses for punters to add to their tracker for next season.


The headlines in the racing world last week belonged to Tiger Roll, and rightly so, after Gordon Elliott’s star chaser retained his Grand National crown. In the fall-out following the National, it’s easy to forget that we enjoyed three days of fantastic racing on Merseyside and there were plenty of horses who caught the eye.

Here are five talented jumpers, all of which suffered defeat at Aintree, that punters should keep in their good books ahead of the 2019/20 National Hunt season.

Precious Cargo


Precious Cargo gave Nico De Boinville a horrible ride in the Top Novices’ Hurdle. The 4/1 shot failed to settle early on, pulling Nico’s arms out for most of the opening half-mile. As Felix Desjy opened up a commanding lead, de Boinville attempted to track Aramon's move to close the gap. A lack of composure, along with those early melodramatics came back to haunt Precious Cargo down the home straight and Nicky Henderson’s charge faded badly before finishing sixth.

It was a tough ask to expect the six-year-old to compete with many more experienced and proven Graded winners on just his third start over fences. Precious Cargo showed plenty of potential during his first two victorious runs and there were definitely flashes of ability at Aintree. This scopey son of Yeats looked a picture in the paddock before the race and there’s no doubting he has the size and quality to make up into a successful novice chaser next season.

Janika


Nicky Henderson, Simon Munir & Isaac Souede can be forgiven in feeling slightly aggrieved when they look back on Janika’s season. After arriving from France in the autumn, the six-year-old has carried top-weight into four high-quality handicaps, running a blinder on all four occasions, without entering the winners’ enclosure once.

Janika twice placed second behind Siruh Du Lac at Cheltenham, second behind the impressive Hell’s Kitchen at Ascot and fourth in the Topham at the end of the season. The six-year-old jumps beautifully and travels like a dream into his races. Only weight has denied Janika from winning on more than one occasion. Henderson’s chaser wouldn’t have been out of place in either the Ryanair or the Melling Chase, had connections gone in that direction, and I expect him to shine outside handicap company next season.

Emitom


Emitom has been one of my most successful tracker horses this term, but even I was surprised to see Warren Greatrex’s youngster rise to the occasion in the Sefton. A few novicey errors almost cost Emitom victory on his penultimate start. Those foibles were evident again in the Sefton, as Gavin Sheehan’s mount fluffed his lines at the third-last and the last. Yet, Emitom kept up to his task brilliantly and looked to be gaining on Champ on the strides before the line.

Greatrex has been extremely vocal about the level he feels this laid-back sort can reach over the coming seasons. Emitom looks to be the type of horse who will mature massively in a short space of time and, barring any setbacks, he will be a quality addition to the staying hurdle or, more likely, the novice chasing ranks in the autumn.

One For Rosie


I’m always keen to swerve horses stepping up from handicaps to Grade Ones, so the sight of One From Rosie seemingly struggling near the rear of the field in the Mersey wasn’t a great surprise. Sam Twiston-Davies, on the other hand, never gave up the ghost and One For Rosie responded to his urgings, running on well to eventually dead-heat with Angels Breath in third.

Nigel Twiston-Davies watched his six-year-old take the scalp of Glen Forsa at the start of the season and One For Rosie looked to have carried top-weight into the winners’ enclosure at Sandown in March, only to be pipped to the post by Third Wind. Twiston-Davies is very good at helping horses improve and I expect this talented grey to progress into a capable staying chaser over the coming years.

Mister Malarky


Mister Malarky has been a picture of consistency during a busy novice chasing campaign, with three wins from his six starts resulting in a 26-pound rise up the handicap. Colin Tizzard’s charge looked to have positioned himself perfectly to end his season on a high at Aintree - that was until Kildisart really got rolling and stormed to a convincing victory in the Betway Handicap Chase.

That five-length defeat won’t take the gloss off what has been an excellent season, during which time Mister Malarky has won a Grade Two at Ascot and placed fourth in a high-quality renewal of the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival. At the age of six, it;s safe to say there’s plenty more improvement to come from this sturdy stayer and - considering his previous form at the course and Colin Tizzard’s recent record in the race – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mister Malarky challenging for the Ladbrokes Trophy when he returns to action next season.

Kildisart (right) pulls clear of Mister Malarky (left) after the last.



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2019 Aintree Festival recap – Five beaten horses to follow next season

Our expert looks back on the Grand National meeting at Aintree and picks out five beaten horses for punters to add to their tracker for next season.

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