The contrarian word on Day 1 at Aintree....

Last Updated: 11.04.2018

Wednesday, 11th April 2018

The contrarian word on Day 1 at Aintree….

The Red Rum Handicap Chase represents our solitary target on Day 1 of Aintree’s Grand National meeting. They go to post at 4.40 over the 2-mile trip....

I’m up in the North West this week and yesterday there was plenty of rain. But it doesn’t seem to have affected the Aintree turf too adversely.

The going is said to be on the soft side of good this morning and with dry weather forecast between now and tomorrow afternoon, we can expect a reasonable racing surface....

There’s a lot to like about the chances of Tom George’s BUN DORAN....

Sent off favourite for this event last season, he finished third off a mark of 139. And he gets to go off that same mark this time around....

He hasn’t been over-exerted during the early part of the season with just two runs up to mid-January, a rest and then a decent enough return effort at Kempton last time....

By-passing Cheltenham this year, he looks like he’s been saved for another crack at this race and I expect him to produce a big performance. The 8s is a fair price....

  • At a price....

The other one I like at a price is Paul Henderson’s DOITFORTHEVILLAGE at 14s....

Absolutely nothing went right for him in the Grand Annual at last month’s Cheltenham Festival....

He was out the back early doors, he was badly hampered by a faller at the second fence, and he was inconvenienced again at the third. From that point forward, he was playing catch-up....

But he made up a lot of ground late-on to finish sixth. Yes, he was beaten 15-lengths, but given his early race travails that wasn’t a bad effort at all....

Especially when you consider he was hampered again three fences from home and blundered his way through the penultimate fence....

The bottom line is that he looks like a horse that is handily treated on a mark of 139....

He won at Cheltenham prior to Christmas off 135. After that, Henderson only ran the horse twice – both times over hurdles – ahead of the Cheltenham appearance....
The 9yo has the look of a horse whose mark has been purposefully preserved for a crack at a decent pot....

It didn’t fall into place at Cheltenham, but he gets another go to leave his current mark behind tomorrow. At the price he makes for a nice bet....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Red Rum Handicap Chase (4.40 @ Aintree)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – BUN DORAN (8s generally) & DOITFORTHEVILLAGE (14s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

Get the latest odds here >>

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my take on the action on Day 2 at Aintree....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd