Aintree Grand National Festival – Day two Aintree tips through the card
Aintree racing tips on day two of the Grand National Festival
After some top-class horse racing action over the sticks on Thursday we move into Friday’s second day of racing at the Aintree Grand National Festival. Seven more races head to post and we’ve picked out our day two Aintree tips and best bets.
We have another top-class afternoon of horse racing action to look forward to on Friday as the second day of the Aintree Grand National Festival goes to post and another seven-race card features four Grade One contests where the Marsh Chase – known as the Melling Chase – is the highlight Grade One of the day.
Meanwhile there’s also another visit to the Grand National fences with the latest renewal of the Topham Chase taking place and the ITV Racing cameras will be on hand again to cover the best of the Friday action with Ed Chamberlain and the team again offering up their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis.
We’ve also looked over the second day racecard and pick out our day two Aintree tips and best bets on Friday at the Merseyside track.
AINTREE GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL BEST BETS – DAY TWO AINTREE TIPS THROUGH THE CARD
1:45 Aintree – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4f
WILDE ABOUT OSCAR’s sole defeat over hurdles came when pulled up in the Challow Hurdler where he made a bad mistake mid-race, but the Oscar gelding recorded back-to-back wins either side of that blip and Dan Skelton’s charge can continue his progression.
A ready winner at Exeter in February he won a shade cosier than the three-parts of a length winning margin might otherwise suggest when beating Mint Condition at Uttoxeter latest on his handicap debut and while the handicapper has hit him with an 4lbs rise for that success there may be better still to come from him.
The form of his earlier Exeter success has been boosted with the runner-up running well in defeat in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival while the third found only one too good in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle.
This is a step up in class but he represents a yard which continues in good form and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him post a big run here and he could land a hat-trick of victories.
2:20 Aintree – Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m½f
ANY NEWS might be worth chancing to bounce back from his recent run at Kelso in March where he unseated his rider My Drogo in the Premier Novices’ Hurdle where he was still travelling well.
Neil Mulholland’s charge had won a bumper at Exeter prior to scoring over hurdles at Bangor next time and he subsequently lost no caste in defeat when only beaten one length by Make Me A Believer at Cheltenham in December.
That form is solid enough with the winner going on to finish a close third in the Grade Two Leamington Hurdle next time, while the third and fifth horses home have both won since along with one who failed to complete.
This is undoubtedly another tough test but he remains open to improvement despite his failure to finish last time out and still early days for him he could be worth chancing to bounce back from that mishap.
2:50 Aintree – Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1f
Chantry House could prove a tough nut to crack again following his Marsh Novices’ Chase win where he capitalised on the fall of Envoi Allen. However it might be worth giving another chance to SHAN BLUE who finished tired in that race having pressed on a good way out and the Shantou gelding ran like a scalded cat for much for the way before tiring.
A smart hurdler last term, chasing home Shishkin at Huntingdon and finishing a creditable sixth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle behind Envoi Allen he has taken really well this season to chasing where he’s jumped impressively to reel off a hat-trick of victories at Wetherby twice and Kempton when stepped up to three miles to beat reopposing The Big Breakaway by four lengths in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
Heavy ground and the stiff uphill finish at Sandown possibly cost him the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase won by Sporting John and he probably paid the price of setting a fierce gallop from halfway at the Cheltenham Festival, headed and beaten on the run to two out and weakening.
He’s better than that and while the runner-up pulled up yesterday in the Manifesto Chase the form does look fair given the fourth won impressively next time. Likely to be better suited by this flatter track his slick jumping will continue to be an asset around here and if the return to three miles isn’t a negative then he could go well if ridden less aggressively than at Cheltenham and assuming this doesn’t come too soon given he had a hard race last time.
3:25 Aintree – Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4f
It might be worth chancing on a return to winning form by NOTEBOOK who could be well-served by the flatter track here and Henry De Bromhead’s charge can get back on track.
A decent sort over hurdles he’s taken his form to a new level over fences, winning his first four starts in good fashion in the 2019/20 campaign which included beating Fakir D’Oudairies at Leopardstown to open his Grade One win account and he followed up back there in February before running poorly behind Put The Kettle On in the Arkle.
That wasn’t the first time he’d disappointed at Cheltenham however and having beaten Fakir D’Oudairies again on his reappearance in the Poplar Square Chase he twice locked horns with no success with Chacun Pour Soi, finishing second and third respectively in starts at Leopardstown before again running below his best back at Cheltenham latest.
He could be better suited by a flatter, sharper track than the stiff and undulating Cheltenham so it would be no surprise to see him bouncing back at this venue and he’s not one to write off just yet that he remains capable of top form.
4:05 Aintree – Randox Topham Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m5f
MODUS took well to these obstacles when finishing third in the Grand Sefton Chase in December and with that experience under his belt Paul Nicholls’ charge can get back to winning ways.
The veteran Motivator gelding won three of his first four starts over fences and continued at a good level despite winning only once more in his next eight outings prior to a lengthy absence. That win came at Cheltenham in October 2018 where he narrowly beat Duke Of Navan but he was largely disappointing following that success although he did run better when sixth in the 2019 Galway Plate.
A winner on his reappearance from a lengthy break he ran well over this obstacles behind Beau Bay and off the same mark he can go close again given his record fresh.
4:40 Aintree – Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m½f
MIDNIGHT RIVER is 3-5 over hurdles and Dan Skelton’s charge could enhance his strike-rate stepping up in trip which ought to suit the Midnight Legend gelding who has shaped like a stayer despite his wins all coming around 2m 4f.
Wins at Uttoxeter, Leicester and Ascot have been tempered slightly by defeats at Cheltenham and Warwick, the latter coming in the Grade Two Leamington Hurdle where he may not have been entirely suited by the heavy ground on that occasion although he still finished less than two lengths’ fourth behind the winner.
He had Gallyhill behind when resuming winning ways at Ascot in February, giving that rival 3lbs so he ought to uphold that form on these terms and the better ground here is unlikely to present a problem. He’s well worth a try at three miles over this sharper track and with potential to further improve he can notch up another win for his in-form yard.
5:15 Aintree – Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m½f
THE WIDDOW MAKER arrives here chasing a hat-trick of wins and the Arvico gelding could go close despite his yard not being in the best of form this campaign.
Trained by Colin Tizzard he’s registered a pair of wins at Taunton, latterly beating Chez Hans by six lengths and that one has gone in since to give the form a bit of a boost.
He wore a tongue-strap for the first time on that occasion which may have helped and the form loos solid given the runner-up subsequently finished just one length off Copperless – who turns out here – prior to winning back at Taunton last time. The handicapper has hiked the selection up 12lbs for that victory but Harry Kimber offsets 7lbs through his claim.
While he likely needs a shade more improvement he could still prove progressive and if the headgear continues to have a positive effect then he could have more to come.