7th April 2017
In this week’s issue….
This weekend we’re targeting tomorrow afternoon’s Betway Handicap Chase at Aintree (3.40)….
A field of 18-runners heads to post for this listed-class event over the 25-furlong trip on the Mildmay course.
The ground this afternoon is described as good to soft. The weather forecast says the rain will continue to stay away. The ground at Aintree is drying out all the time. I suspect the ground will be genuine good ground by the off.
Harry Whittington’s Emerging Force heads the betting. Fair enough, he’s on his handicap debut. And an initial mark of 142 might turn out to be generous for a horse rated 146 over hurdles. But he’ll have to do it on his first start for 120 days.
Dan Skelton’s Value At Risk is another handicap debutant – with first-time cheekpieces applied. He too must do it off the back of a break – one that amounts to almost 6-months off.
David Pipe’s talented and versatile Starchitect is the one at the top of the market that I’d prefer to be with if my life depended on it.
He produced a nice effort in the Brown Plate at the Festival where he finished 5th – and he gets to run off the same mark of 143 tomorrow.
He stayed on nicely that afternoon over the 21-furlong trip – despite having met trouble in-running a couple of times – and this step up to 25-furlongs might well see him to even better effect.
But, in a double-figure field, it is incumbent on this column to find a double-figure bet. We leave the short-horses to Racing UK’s team of presenters who don’t seem able to look beyond the first couple in the betting for any race they cover….
But there aren’t too many viable options in this heat. Quite a few participants have been out of form in recent times and have something to prove.
Sue Smith’s I JUST KNOW is one that appeals at 10s. The 7-year-old has progressed for each of his 5 runs over fences – all completed this season.
He’s never been out of the first 2. He’s gone up the handicap to the tune of 30lbs. And there appears to be a level of expectation about this horse. The market has backed him into favouritism each time he’s run over fences.
This is a big step up in class but he deserves to take his chance. He has yet to run on a surface that has not contained the word soft in the going description. But he’s given a ready impression of a horse that will improve for a genuine good surface. He’ll get that tomorrow.
Not too many of these have been doing it in recent times, I Just Know is one that has. He can build on recent progress tomorrow.
The 10s about I Just Know is not an each-way price for me. So, I’m going two-against-the-field with POTTERS LEGEND as my second selection at 11s.
Lucy Wadham’s horse is another who’s done well in his first-season chasing and last time at the Festival – stepping up to beyond 3-miles for the first time – he produced a cracking effort to hit the frame in the Kim Muir despite being hampered and making a mistake.
He’s only gone up a single pound in the weights for that run and the first-time cheekpieces in combination with the return of Leighton Aspell to riding duties can see this 7-year-old produce another competitive performance at a nice price.
The standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. I won’t be backing each-way at the prices. I’ll be backing both my selections win-only.
Short-priced horses don’t have a great record in recent Grand Nationals. It pays to think differently and to oppose the market….
I’m taking on a well-established trend and backing a horse to do something that hasn’t been done since before World War II – at a nice price….
And I’m also backing a horse that’s been laid out for the race and ticks a lot of the right boxes….
You can get immediate access to both these extra bets by taking a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
Finally, you can get 100/1 about ANY horse you fancy in tomorrow’s Grand National.
That’s great news if you fancy something much shorter in the current betting.
You’ll need to open a new account with Racebets to qualify for the enhanced price. And the max stake is just £1.00. But value is value.
Act fast. This offer won’t be available tomorrow. Get 100s here.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.