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25th September 2021

AINTREE Free Tips and Trends – DAY TWO (Fri 9th April 2021)

Into the second day of the Aintree Grand National Meeting on Friday 9th April 2021 the ITV cameras are on-hand to take in five more LIVE races.

The Mildmay Novices’ Chase, JLT Melling Chase and the Randox Health Topham Chase are the three feature contests as the 'must-see' action from Liverpool’s premier track continues.

As always, here at TQ we've got 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 continue.......................



FRIDAY, 9th April 2021 (ITV/Racing TV)


2.20pm – Betway Top Novices´ Hurdle Grade 2 Cl1 2m110y ITV

2019 Winner: FELIX DESJY (7/2)
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Jack Kennedy

16/17 – Raced no more than 31 days ago
10/17 – Finished first or second last time out
11/17 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
9/17 – Aged 5 years-old
9/17 – Ran in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Cheltenham) last time out
7/17 – Had raced on the flat before
5/17 – Won last time out
5/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (5 of last 10)
4/17 – Winning favourites
15 of the last 23 (65%) winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out
22 of the last 29 (76%) winners came from the top 4 in the market
Just two Irish winner since 1978 (1 from 25 this century)
10 of the last 20 (50%) winners were placed in the top 6 in that season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

TQ VERDICT: Expect to see the free-going FOR PLEASURE (e/w) blasting off in his usual fashion here and on this flatter track he might just stay there for longer than he did in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (3rd) last time. He looks sure to trade shorter in-play and if allowed to get an easy lead then can’t be ruled out – he will need to settle a tad better than last time though if he wants to last out, but horses that ran well in the Supreme have a fair record in this race too. Belfast Banter was a shock winner of the Country Hurdle at the Festival and tries to follow-up. He’s clearly on the up, but you just feel there might be something a bit less exposed back into Novice company. Third Time Lucki was also sixth in the County Hurdle and the same probably applies to him with regards to being a bit exposed – this will be his eleventh run under rules. Any News, has set a good level of form and is a player too, but having unseated last time out, that would be a worry for me. It’s hard to knock the Kim Bailey runner Ajero too – he’s won his last four – and is another fast-improving hurdler that acts on all ground. This will be his biggest test to date but he’s certainly not one to dismiss lightly. So, that leaves us with the Henderson runner – DUSART – who is a horse that connections are taking their time with - had just the one career run to date. However, that was a smooth debut win at Newbury back in November – beating Soaring Glory, who went onto frank the form by landing the Betfair Hurdle this season. He’s been kept fresh for this too and the Henderson yard have a top record in the race – winning 5 of the last 10!

2.50pm – Betway Mildmay Novices´ Chase Grade 2 Cl1 3m1f ITV

2019 Winner: LOSTINTRANSLATION (3/1)
Trainer: Colin Tizzard
Jockey: Robbie Power

17/17 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
17/17 – Raced no more than 55 days ago
14/17 – Aged 7 or younger
14/17 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
14/17 – Raced no more than 33 days ago
13/17 – Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
8/17 – Ran in the RSA Chase last time out
7/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (including 2 of last 3)
2/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
2/17 – Irish trained winners
4 of the last 5 RSA Chase winners to run have lost
Trainer Nicky Henderson, Colin Tizzard and Paul Nicholls have won 10 of the last 17 runnings between them
16 of the last 23 winners were aged 6 (6) or 7 (10) years-old
The last 17 winners were either French (7) or Irish (10) bred.
5 of the last 8 winners ran in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase
30 of the last 31 (97%) winners were priced 10/1 or less
24 of the last 29 winners had won over at least 3m before
34 of the last 38 (83%) winners had won twice or more over fences
15 of the last 18 (83%) winners raced at the Cheltenham Festival that season
19 of the last 21 (90%) winners had run in at least 4 chases
Just one winner returned 11/1 or bigger since 1989

TQ VERDICT: This has been a good race in recent years for the Tizzard and Henderson yards and I think they can fight it out again this year. Tizzard has two decent entries in The Big Breakaway and FIDDLERONTHEROOF (e/w), while Henderson has CHANTRY HOUSE. The last-named took advantage of the fall of Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Festival last time, but this Henderson 7 year-old still did it nicely to win by 3 lengths and you never know – he might have won regardless of Envoi’s fall – we’ll never know. But that was his third win over fences from just four tries and is a young chaser on the up. It’s no secret the Seven Barrows yard think he’s a useful prospect and with that Festival win under his belt his confidence will be sky-high. He’s also got winning form on ground ranging from ‘good’ to ‘soft’, so that’s a further plus. The other pick – Fiddlerontheroof – does have a string of silver medals to his name, but one of those was most-recently to the useful Monkfish. He was only beaten 6 ½ lengths that day. Prior to that he ran Next Destination close over 3m and has now only tried this sort of trip twice – I just feel he’s improved for the step up in distance and that stamina will be a bonus in the closing stages. He might just lack the pace during certain parts of the race, but – just like at Cheltenham – I can see him running on well at the death. Of the rest, Shan Blue did well at the start of the season, but has gone a bit off the boil of late and has 12 lengths to fine with Chantry House on that recent Cheltenham run. In his defence, the flatter Aintree track should suit him a lot better and if allowed to get into a rhythm out in front, then might be hard to pass. Espoir De Romnay is another to note after an easy win at Leicester last time out, but that did come on heavy ground. Empire Steel will be flying the flag for Scotland, coming from the Sandy Thomson yard – he’s a useful chaser, but does have 19lbs to find with Chantry House on these terms. Sporting John is another to consider, but fell when beaten last time out at Cheltenham so needs to bounce back from that, while the lightly-raced Silver Hallmark has shown a lot of potential in this races and could easily make the frame.

3.25pm – The Marsh Steeple Chase (Reg as the Melling Chase) Grade 1 Cl1 2m4f ITV

2019 Winner: MIN (2/1 fav)
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: R Walsh

17/17 – Raced within the last 30 days
17/17 – Ran in either the Ryanair or Champion Chase that season
14/17 – Priced 8/1 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Aged 9 or younger
10/17 – Finished in the top three last time out
11/17 – Ran in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last time out
8/17 – Winning favourites
7/17 – Irish-trained winners
6/17 – Ran in the Ryanair Chase that season
4/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/17 – Trained by Alan King
22 of the last 29 (76%) runners had won over at least 2m4f
31 of the last 34 (91%) winners were aged 7 or older
23 of the last 29 (79%) winners were aged between 7-9 years-old
13 of the last 25 (52%) winners had finished third or better in the Queen Mother Champion Chase that season
16 of the last 25 (64%) winners were fav or 2nd fav
22 of the last 29 (76%) winners had won or been placed at the Grand National Meeting before
13 of the last 16 (81%) winners had won a Grade 1 Chase earlier that season
27 of the last 29 (93%) winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival that season

TQ VERDICT: Not a bad renewal – certainly an interesting one! With 23 of the last 29 winners aged between 7-9, then this is a negative for several of the well-fancied runners – including the 6 year-old Fakir D’oudairies, plus the 10 year-olds Politologue and Master Tommytucker. Having said, that all three would certainly have chances still and bring top-class form to the table. Fakir D’oudairies was runner-up in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival last time out, but the fact he’s been second five times in his last six races is a slight worry for me – he’s a class act, but just doesn’t win enough for me – a placepot banker, maybe? Master Tommytucker has found a new lease of life this season – winning three times, while Politologue needs little introduction having won this race in 2018. He missed Cheltenham, so will be fresher than most and is the top-rated in the field (168) – it’s hard to fault his chance, other than the age stat looking against him. Nuts Well is another 10 year-old and he could be flying under the radar having won the Old Roan Chase well here back in October. The track and trip are clearly a plus and you feel if he was at a bigger yard, he’d be a shorter price. However, the two I like are DASHEL DRASHER and NOTEBOOK (e/w). The former has made giant strides this season – winning his last three, with the most-recent being a 2l beating of Master Tommytucker at Ascot. He’s another you feel that if he was with the Nicholls or Henderson yard would be the potential favourite here. He’s been freshened up by missing Cheltenham too and at the age of 8 could have even more to offer. Notebook, was 7th in the Champion Chase, but prior to that had been runner-up to Chacun Pour Soi twice and beat Fakir D’oudariries well at Naas back in November. The step up in trip looks interesting, but he’s run well over this sort of trip as a hurdler and is a former winning Pointer (3m). Yes, a couple of questions to answer, but on his day he’s a classy chaser, while with Rachael Blackmore riding, then this Henry De Bromhead 8 year-old could be the e/w call in the race.

4.05pm – Randox Health Topham Chase Handicap (Grade 3) Cl1 2m5f110y ITV

2019 Winner: CADIUM (8/1)
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Paul Townend

16/17 – Raced within the last 34 days
16/17 – Aged 10 or younger
13/17 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
10/17 – Carried 10-7 or less in weight
11/17 – Raced within the last 23 days
10/17 – Unplaced last time out
4/17 – Trained by Peter Bowen
4/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
2/17 – Ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen
2/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Ridden by Tom O’Brien
2/17 – Irish-trained winners
4 of the last 6 winners carried 11-1 or more
5 of the last 6 winners were rated 141 or higher
5 of the last 6 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival
8 of the last 14 (57%) winners raced in last year’s race
10 of the last 14 (71%) winners hadn’t won over fences that season
10 of the last 16 (63%) winners had raced over the GN-style fences before
15 of the last 27 (56%) winners had raced at least 7 times that season
Only 3 Irish-trained winners since 1979
Just 1 British or Irish-bred winner aged 7 or younger since 1985
Just one winner aged 11+ (109 have tried) since 1994

TQ VERDICT: Over the National-style fences again here, so jumping will be tested and key. It’s a race the Nicky Henderson yard have done well in recently – they run Caribean Boy, who was a fair 7th in the Paddy Power Plate at Cheltenham last time out. The also have Morning Vicar, who was 8th in the Kim Muir and Precious Cargo – the choice of Nico de Boinville. Oh, looking a bit further down, they also run Lust For Glory, who will be ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen – who has won this race twice before too so will have every assistance from the saddle. Willie Mullins won the last renewal too and has a live chance with Livelovelaugh, but with a string of places and now 16 races without a win, that would be a worry – his last success came in 2018. Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore team-up with VISIOMAN, so this one is sure to be popular too and despite a few average runs of late you feel this race has been a target having run over hurdles last time to blow away the cobwebs and potentially protect his chase mark. Yes, the Irish don’t have a great record in this race (just 3 wins since 1979), but he’s got decent form on better ground too and has won 4 times over fences. Senior Citizen gets in with a light weight (10-6) and has some good form to his name this season and tried these fences in December when 7th in the Grand Sefton. Two For Gold was a solid third to the Grand National favourite – Cloth Cap – at Kelso last time and is another to consider if taking to the fences, but the other two I like are the already mentioned MORNING VICAR (e/w) and RAVENHILL ROAD (e/w). The former is from the Henderson yard and gets in here with just 10st 2lbs. He was back in the field in the Kim Muir (8th) last time, but that was his first run for 3-4 months. The drop back in trip will suit and was a good winner at Newbury this season on the better ground – the useful James Bowen has been booked to ride. Ravenhill Road was last seen winning easily at Doncaster and despite going up 9lbs for that, did it well to suggest he’s up to the rise. He still gets in here with only 10-7 to carry too – that’s 15lbs less in racing weight than last time and acts well on the ground. He’s piloted by former Grand National-winning jockey, Ryan Mania too!

4.40pm – Doom Bar Sefton Novices´ Hurdle Grade 1 Cl1 3m110y ITV

2019 Winner: CHAMP (9/4 fav)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Mark Walsh

15/17 – Had run within the last 35 days
12/17 – Won by a horse aged 6 or younger
10/17 – Returned 7/1 or bigger in the market
7/17 – Won their last race
5/17 – Favourites that won
2/17 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable
2/17 – Won by the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
12 of the last 13 winners were aged 6 or 7 years-old (92%)
21 of the last 24 (92%) won at least twice over hurdles before
21 of the last 27 (78%) winners had won 4 times or more over hurdles
13 of the last 26 (50%) winners won over at least 2m7f previously
13 of the last 20 (65%) winners didn’t run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival

TQ VERDICT: Cape Gentleman will be a leading player for the Irish here after his Grade 2 win in the Dovecote Novices Hurdle at Kempton back in February. But that came over 2m, so this step up to 3m is a bit of an unknown for me. Streets Of Doyen is another Irish challenger and ran a decent third in the Albert Bartlett last time, while Midnight River, Champagnesuperover and Alaphilippe are others with claims. But it’s hard to get away from the Paul Nicholls runner – BRAVEMANSGAME – here after his excellent third in the Ballymore last time. Okay, many thought he’d have actually done a bit better in that race, but the winner – Bob Olinger – looks very useful and it also came after almost 3 months off the track. It’s no secret the Nicholls yard like this horse, so with that run under it’s belt and the step up in trip likely to bring out more improvement, he’s taken to get back to winning ways as the clear top-rated in the field. Of the rest, a chance might be worth taking on the Henderson pair at big prices – GALLYHILL (e/w) and BOTHWELL BRIDGE (e/w). Both have a bit to find with the main selection but are lightly-raced and will head here fresher than most after missing Cheltenham.



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