Thursday Horse Racing Tips: Raceolly's Best Bets For Day 1 Of Grand National Festival At Aintree
After a successful Cheltenham Festival, which saw him tip a 40/1 winner during the week, our resident tipster Raceolly is back for all three days of Aintree's Grand National meeting. He previews all Thursday's action here, and has picked out five bets for the racing at the Merseyside racecourse...
14:20 Aintree - Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle
KNIGHT SALUTE went in to the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham as a dark horse and although well beaten there he won some decent Graded races before that and the flat track at Aintree could really suit. Horses that ran in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham have a good record in this with 12 of the last 18 winners having come from that race and there’s only two qualifiers this year with Knight Salute and Pied Piper representing, Irish horses have only won two of the 18 though. Milton Harris has had an awesome season sitting on a 22% win rate after 51 winners from his 236 runners this season and a 50% win rate at Aintree over the last five years, he also has a eye catching 41% win rate when combining with Paddy Brennan this season. A Grade 1 win would be the perfect end to a great season for him.
Knight Salute (EW)
14:55 Aintree - Betway Bowl Chase
Paul Nicholls has a good record in this winning it five times and comes here this season with last year's winner CLAN DES OBEAUX who won by 26 lengths in a canter. He wore first time cheek pieces then that worked a treat and he wore them again when following up at Punchestown soon after and when 2nd in the King George, tries first time blinkers this time around to unlock the same magic. Skipped Cheltenham this year where he’s not been seen at his best and instead has this race as his gold cup. Few of the fancied runners had a hard race at Cheltenham last time and Clan Des Obeaux is the highest rated in the race.
Clan Des Obeaux (EW)
16:05 Aintree - Randox Foxhunters' Open Hunters' Chase
COUSIN PASCAL didn’t enjoy Cheltenham last time and hit every fence before pulling up, granted that wouldn’t usually be the ideal prep for a race like this, but he won this last year and jumped perfectly and would get away with clipping the top here unlike Cheltenham last time. Horses that have previously ran well in this tend to come back and do so again with four of the last seven winners at least placed in the previous year's race and having previous experience is a huge advantage. He’s a better age on the stats this time around also with him being the first to win with an age in singles figures since 2010 last year and only three in the last 20 years.
Cousin Pascal (EW)
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16:40 Aintree - Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase
SHAKEM UP'ARRY is an eye-catching runner in this tricky affair and ticks a fair few stats. Rated in the 130’s and aged eight is ideal and six of the last seven winners skipped Cheltenham for this. Excuses when 3rd after further at Haydock in a Grade 2 when looking like a non stayer and back on track last time when sent off favourite in a very decent race. Placed in a Grade 1 over hurdles and chased home Shishkin and Mister Coffey in novice hurdles, going down by a length to the latter who’s a 144 rated chaser these days.
Shakem Up'Arry (EW)
17:15 Aintree - Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares' Standard Open NH Flat Race
RIVER OF JOY did really well to win at Chepstow a fortnight ago when largely unfancied on debut. Peter Bowen owned the dam Big Time Billy who won at the end of March also before coming here and winning this very race, a near identical prep to this. She also was unfancied first time out strangely enough. Eight of the last 12 winners have been five-years-old and all of the last three which bodes well. River Of Joy was Peter Bowen’s first bumper winner this season after five places before that and he doesn’t send one to Aintree for a bumper with out a chance boasting a 29% win rate through out his career with seven winners from 24 runners.