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25th September 2021

AINTREE Free Tips and Trends – DAY ONE (Thurs 8th April 2021)

A top week for horse racing fans as the three-day Aintree Grand National Meeting kicks-off on Thursday 8th April 2021 with the ITV cameras showing five races LIVE each day.

We get started on DAY ONE with the Betway Bowl, Aintree Hurdle and the Rose Paterson Foxhunters’ Chase are some of the key highlights so there is plenty to look forward to.

As always with the big meetings here at TQ we've all the key stats for the main LIVE ITV races – these will help build-up a better profile of horses that have done well in each race over the years.

Let’s get cracking…………………….

 

THURSDAY, 8th April 2021 (ITV/RacingTV)

 

2.20pm – Doombar Anniversary 4yo Juvenile Hurdle 4yo Grade 1 (Class 1) (4yo) 2m1f ITV

2019 Winner: PENTLAND HILLS (11/4)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico De Boinville

15/17 – Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
14/17 – Placed in the top three last time out
12/17 – Raced in the Triumph Hurdle (Cheltenham) last time out
11/17 – Returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
7/17 – Winning favourites
6/17 – Won last time out
5/17 – Won by trainer Alan King (4 of the last 13)
3/17 – Won by trainer Paul Nicholls
2/17  - Won by trainer Nicky Henderson (last two)
2/17 – Irish-trained winners
12/15 winners were placed at worst at the Cheltenham Festival
French-bred horses have won 11 of the last 21 (53%) runnings – including 4 of the last 5
14/20 winners raced in the Triumph Hurdle earlier that season
Just 5/30 winners hadn’t won at least twice over hurdles before

TQ VERDICT: The Paul Nicholls-trained Monmiral will be popular here, having won all four starts over hurdles to date. He was last seen beating Nassalam by an easy 7 lengths at Haydock back in February and will head here fresh having missed the Cheltenham Festival. He’s the joint top-rated in the field, but I just feel at the price he might be worth taking on. The form of his win – when beating Nassalam – last time has taken a few knocks since and even though he’s clearly a horse with a lot of potential, I think the Pipe-trained ADAGIO sets a fair standard. He ran a blinder in the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival to be second and was only beaten 3 ¼ lengths that day behind the useful Quilixios. He had decent sorts like Zanahiyr and Tritonic beaten that day too and, for me, that form sets the standard here. He’s also got winning form on faster ground should conditions dry out more. Of the rest, it’s a race the Nicky Henderson yard have for the last two runnings, so their PAROS (e/w), who won well last time at Musselburgh, can do best of those at bigger prices. Fiveandtwenty has done little wrong in winning her three starts over hurdles and gets a handy 7lbs mares’ allowance here, but does also have more on her plate. The Skelton yard make up the six runners with John Locke and Carlos Felix, but you feel would have it all to do.

 

2.50pm – The Betway Bowl Chase Grade 1 (Class 1) (5yo+) 3m1f ITV

2019 Winner: KEMBOY (9/4 fav)
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: R Walsh

15/17 – Didn’t win last time out
14/17 – Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
11/17 – Ran in the Gold Cup (Cheltenham) last time out
9/17 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
6/17 – Aged in double-figures
5/17 – Winning favourites (4 of the last 5)
4/17 – Won by the Pipe stable
4/6 – Won that season’s King George
4/6 – Were the top-rated horse in the field
15/36 (42%) winners were aged 10 or older
25/36 (69%) winners ran in that season’s King George
25/36 (69%) winners ran in that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup
13/23 (57%) winners were placed fourth or better in that season’s King George VI Chase
Irish-trained winners are just 3-from-13 in the last 8 runnings
8 of the last 10 winners were favourite or second favourite
2nd or 3rd favourites have won 13 of the last 27 (48%) renewals and 6 of the last 10 (60%)
4 of the last 9 winners had run in this race before
No last-time out winner since 2010
3 of the last 11 winners finished in the top 3 in that season’s Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury

TQ VERDICT: A cracking renewal and a race that all eyes will be on the two-time Grand National winner – TIGER ROLL. He’s bypassed a third tilt at the National on Saturday after some weight disagreements by his owners, but being rated 167 gets into this Grade One as the joint second top-rated. He proved his doubters wrong last time at Cheltenham when bouncing back to form to win the Cross Country again and despite his advancing years (11), he doesn’t want to seem to give up his racing. We know the track suits and the ground will be fine and we know the horse loves this time of year. With a few question marks over his nearest rivals I’ll take him to land another fairy tale success at his beloved Aintree. Clan Des Obeaux will be popular too and will be fresher than most after missing Cheltenham. However, despite running some solid races, the former King George winner has rather lost his way a bit in the last few years and his last win was his KG win back in 2019. He’s been beaten as favourite the last twice and could only manage second (beaten 9 lengths), in this race in 2019 too. Native River will try his heart out as always and is still to finish outside the first four from his 21 runs over fences. He’s got stamina to burn, but you just feel the ground would need to come up a bit softer for him to take this and with that put more emphasis on his proven stamina. But he is the top-rated in the field and looks sure to run his race. The fragile Waiting Patiently was an excellent second in the King George on Boxing Day and will have his supporters too, but his last win was now back in 2018 and might be destined for another place finish – he’s hit the first three in all bar one of this 12 starts over fences. Of the rest, Clondaw Castle has had a cracking season and improved around 11lbs since running second in the Old Roan Chase at this track in October. He’ll love the better ground and is another that falls into the ‘consistent’ bracket for each-way backers. Mister Fisher and Real Steal would also have the form to make a small claim, but both are heading here on recovery missions after being pulled-up the last twice.

 

3.25pm – The Betway Aintree Hurdle Grade 1 (Class 1) (4yo+) 2m4f ITV

2019 Winner: SUPASUNDAE (15/2)
Trainer: Mrs John Harrington
Jockey: Robbie Power

16/17 – Aged 8 or younger
13/17 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
13/17 – Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
11/17 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
9/17 – Ran in the Champion Hurdle last time out
9/17 – Irish-trained winners, plus 19 of the last 43
5/17 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
4/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Won by trainer Nicky Henderson (4 of the last 9)
13 of the last 26 (50%) winners trained in Ireland
29 of the last 43 (67%) winners ran in that season’s Champion Hurdle
7 of the last 10 winners (70%) were placed in the top 4 of that season’s Champion Hurdle
11 of the last 14 winners (including last 8) had won a Grade 1 before
9 of the last 19 (47%) winners had won at this meeting before
Only 5 Champion Hurdle winners since 1999 have run – but 3 won
Every British-trained winner had raced at the Cheltenham Festival that season
Just 2 winning 5 year-olds in the last 31 runnings
Just 1 of the last 19 Champion Hurdle runner-ups to race have won

TQ VERDICT: Plenty of chances here. Silver Streak is the top-rated in the field (163) and wasn’t disgraced last time out when 6th in the Champion Hurdle. However, this popular grey was a well-beaten fifth in the race in 2019 and has a bit to prove over this longer trip for me. The 2017 winner of this race – BUVEUR D’AIR (e/w) - would have been all the rage for this had he been a bit younger, but will still have his supporters, even at the age of 10. He had to miss Cheltenham in the end, but prior to that setback the reports coming out of the Henderson yard were positive. He’s still got a cracking record of 13 wins from 19 starts over hurdles and has only been out of the top three once from those races. Yes, he was beaten at Haydock back in January, but I feel the longer trip here will be more up his street now he’s a bit older and don’t forget that last run also came off a 420-day break. McFabulous should love this track and trip – he’s a past course winner – but he needs to bounce back from a below-par run at Fontwell last time. It’s possible the track didn’t suit that day, but he didn’t look happy a long way out. The horse that beat him that day BREWIN’UPASTORM, however, travelled really well and eventually won by an easy 5 ½ lengths. This Olly Murphy runner didn’t really take to fences, so the switch back to hurdles has looked a good move – winning his last two – plus he’s another that bypassed the Festival to head here fresh. He seems to have got a new lease of life and even though he was getting 6lbs off McFabulous last time, I think he can uphold that form. The Irish challenge is good too, with Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore teaming up with Jason The Militant. He was a G3 winner at Fairyhouse last time, when beating Petit Mouchoir easily, while is closely-matched with Abacadabras, after finishing a close third to that Denise Foster runner at Punchestown back in November. Of the rest, International Hurdle winner, Song For Someone, has the form to go well, but does need to bounce back from a poor run in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton last time – beaten 22 lengths behind  Goshen.

 

4.05pm – The Rose Paterson Fox Hunters´ Chase (Class 2) (6yo+) 2m5f ITV1

2019 Winner: TOP WOOD (14/1)
Trainer: Kelly Morgan
Jockey: Tabitha Worsley

17/17 – Aged 9 or older (Just 2 of the last 34 winners were younger than 9)
13/17 – Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Aged in double-figures
12/17 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
7/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Ran in the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ last time out
5/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/17 – Ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen
14 of the last 15 (93%) winners were aged 10 or older
Irish-trained runners have won 4 of the last 6 runnings
4 of the last 6 winners were placed in the top 4 in last season’s race
19 of the last 27 (70%) winners went off favourite or second favourite
22 of the last 27 winners had won a race earlier that season
Only 2 of the last 36 winners were aged younger than 9
22 of the last 27 (81%) winners came from the top 4 in the market and returned at single-figures in the betting.
10 of the last 15 winners had run over these National-style fences before
Ex-handicap horses have won 12 of the last 18 (67%) renewals

TQ VERDICT: With only two of the last 34 winners aged 8 or younger, then this is a negative for Cat Tiger, Some Man and Latenightpass, who are all well-fancied in the betting. All eyes will be on the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ runner-up Billaway, and this consistent sort that’s been placed in the top three in 10 of his 11 chase starts will be high up on most people’s lists. But he also might not be much value and those against him will look to this being his first try over the National-style fences. Mighty Stowaway was only sixth in the Cheltenham version of this race and has 37 lengths to make up on Billaway, but with horses aged in double-figures having a fair record in this race I’ll take a chance on SAMETEGAL and DASHING PERK. The former is now a 12 year-old but is still in the care of Paul Nicholls. He actually beat the Cheltenham Foxhunter winner – Porlock Bay – at Wincanton back in Feb and probably didn’t enjoy the Fontwell track last time when beaten at odds on. He’s tasted the National fences in the past too, so that experience is a plus and will have an experienced jockey for a race like this in William Biddick. Dashing Perk, will also have a leading pilot with Sam Waley-Cohen doing the steering. This 10 year-old is lightly-raced for his age (8 runs over fences) and should be spot-on for this after a fair third at Wincanton last time out after 2 months out, while he’s also run well at the track in the past too. The final one to note, of those at bigger prices is the Donald McCain runner – FEDERICI (e/w). This 12 year-old has been a bit poor of late, but did win a race last October to show he still retains ability. But he’s run many times over these fences so that will help, plus he’s also got one of the best jockeys in the race riding in Derek O’Connor – that alone suggests he’s worth a small interest in a race that could cut up quite quickly with a lot of inexperienced jockeys riding.

 

4.40pm – The Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase Grade 3 (Class 1) (5yo+) 2m ITV

2019 Winner: Moon Over Germany (11/2)
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: Rachael Blackmore

16/17 – Aged 9 or younger
15/17 – Carried 11-1 or less
12/17 – Carried 10-13 or less
12/17 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting
9/17 – Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
9/17 – Aged 7 or younger
11/17 – Unplaced last time out
4/17 – Winning favourites (1 co)
3/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Irish-trained winner
13 of the last 18 winners returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
11 of the last 19 winners were Novices (inc last 4)
16 of the last 20 winners were rated 139 or lower
Only 2 winners older than 9 years-old since 1988
4 of the last 12 winners were ridden by conditional jockeys
The top 5 in the betting have won 15 of the last 22 (68%) runnings
18 of the last 20 (90%) winners carried 11-2 or less
3 of the last 13 winners raced in the previous year’s race
7 of the last 21 (33%) winners ran in that season’s Johnny Henderson Grand Annual (Cheltenham)
5 of the last 6 winners DIDN’T run at the Cheltenham Festival that season
The last 5 winners were Irish-bred
Respect trainer Henry De Bromhead – winner 2019 and 3 placed horses

TQ VERDICT: A very competitive renewal. The Paul Nicholls-trained Getaway Trump was a nice winner at Doncaster last time out and will be popular, but he’s not always been the most reliable and being up another 9lbs here, he’s not for me. Destrier, who is starting to look well-handicapped for Dan Skelton, and recent Sandown winner – Frero Banbou – are interesting, but the last-named is up a massive 13lbs for that recent win and with only 5 runs over fences might just lack the experience for a race like this. 18 of the last 20 winners carried 11-2 or less, so that might be seen as a negative for the top six on the racecard, including the 2019 winner – Moon Over Germany (De Bromhead) – who has 11-11 to carry and is rated 12lbs higher than that 2019 win. He does, however, have the useful Jordan Gainford riding to claim a handy 7lbs and that certainly makes him more interesting. De Bromhead also has the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Jan Moat in the race and despite some poor recent runs, you feel there is more to come from this 8 year-old. My two against the field though are ZANZA (e/w) and EDITEUR DU GITE (e/w). Yes, the former falls down on the weight trend with 11-8 to carry, but I feel he’s been unlucky the last twice. He fell at Cheltenham in December when still going well and the winner of that race – Sky Pirate – has since franked the form to win the Grand Annual. He was then badly hampered in the GA at the Festival last time and lost all chance so had to be pulled up. The better ground is fine and with a bit more luck in-running looks the sort to have more to offer over fences. Then Editeur Du Gite, is another that caught the eye last time when winning at Newbury. This Gary Moore runner is up 7lbs for that win, but still gets in here with just 10-9 to carry – that’s 13lbs less racing weight than last time. The better ground is a plus and with that being his first win over fences will be a lot more confident too. On The Slopes and Dostal Phil are others to respect.

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