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Here we are… Grand National day 2021, after the disappointment of last years abandonment, we can finally enjoy the special race of 40 National Hunt race horses jump the National fences twice before we crown the 2021 winner.
Joining us today is @wattyracing with his National selection….
Today was a tough day. with Rich landing the sites only winner with Belfast Banter(9/1SP) & places at a premium, Jamie had Bravemansgame in 2nd & Charlie had a 6th place too….
Going – Aintree –
Charlie – 1.45 Eft Systems Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
Selection – Champagne Platinum – 7yr old Gelding out of Stowaway and Saffron Holly. Has had 10 runs winning twice and placing 4 times. Although hasn’t ran at Aintree before hails from the 7 Barrows yard and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Finished 5th at Cheltenham last time out in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Grade 3 over 2m 7f 213y behind winner Mrs Milner and The Bosses Oscar. Biggest threat comes in the shape of Come On Teddy who has a similar profile. UNPLACED
6.20 – Weatherbys nhsstallions.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Grade2) over 2m 209y
Selection – Charlie’s Glance – 5yr old Gelding who has had one race so far and it was a 5 and 1/2 length victory over Our Jester at Newbury on the 6th of March over 2m 69y. With normal progress should be in the thick of it here, with the biggest threat likely to come in the shape of Balco Coastal for the inform Henderson yard who has a similar profile, although his win at Kempton was a 17 length demolition of Get Sky High.
2.25 Mersey Novices Hurdle
Ballyadam has been watching Appreciate It land all the top prices this over recent months, but now gets his chance to land a second Grade 1 over timber. Wasn’t fluent at Cheltenham last time and ran with credit to end up 2nd. He gives the impression this trip on better ground is well within range and I’m expecting a big run here. UNPLACED
3.35 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle
Diol Ker has a bit to find on ratings with the market principles. However, you can’t ignore a potentially unexposed Irish raider, especially after more success here after dominating the Cheltenham Festival. Best form is on a softer surface including a close 2nd at Grade 2 level when running over this trip for the first time, though has run ok on yielding previously. Capable of being involved and at the current prices, he makes definite each-way appeal.
2:25 – Betway Mersey Novices Hurdle (G1) – Selection: Ballyadam
Henry De Bromhead sends Ballyadam to Aintree attempting to regain the winning thread. Since winning December’s Royal Bond at Fairyhouse the Cheveley Park owned horse has found the outstanding Appreciate It too strong on three occasions. The latest came in the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham when Ballyadam was beaten 24 lengths, although you do have to factor in that he made a shuddering mistake at the 2nd last and he rallied well after. On form Ballyadam has a major chance and the step up in trip to 2m 4f could bring out more in him today. I also have to note that he was my jumps horse to follow so I hope he can do the business today. Henry De Bromhead has had a bit more time to get to know this horse now as well since joining his ranks just a few before Cheltenham. UNPLACED
2:50 – Fillies Maiden (3YO) – Selection: Simply A Dream
There is a lot going for the Ger Lyons trained Simply A Dream who takes on 11 rivals over the 1m 2 ½f trip. The full sister to Hunting Horn makes her second appearance over C&D today. The first positive is that the Lyons stable is in great form boasting a 6-26 (23%) strike rate in the last 14 days, the horses are running through the line very well. Unlike some of her rivals today she has a race under her belt, it was a promising run to be 4th in a decent looking maiden two weeks ago. That looks to be some of the best form on offer here. Simply A Dreams holds every chance and was so hard to ignore I had to put her up today. The main dangers could come from Ballydoyle newcomer Call Me Sweetheart & Dermot Weld’s Umneyaat who has plenty of experience on her side.
2.25 Mersey Novice Hurdle – 4yo Plus – Grade 1 – 2m 4f…..
Dreal Deal – Arvico X Fleur Rose 6yo gelding.
Has had 1 run in 2021 on January 17th in the Grade 2 Punchestown 2m Moscow Flyer, winning it from Ganapthi by 3 lengths. That form has been boosted twice by 1 horse, who finished 4th that day. Echoes in Rain, who beat Belfast Banter by 8 lengths.
That was the geldings 4th hurdle win on the bounce, or 6th if you include the 2 Chase wins mixed in too.
He has risen from a rating of 84 in September 2020 to 145 today & has won over 2m, 2m 4f & 2m 6f… BIG CHANCE – UNPLACED
3.35 Stayers Hurdle – 4yo Plus – Grade 1 – 3m 149yds
Thyme Hill – Kayf Tara X Rosita Bay 7yo gelding.
3rd in the 2019 Champion Bumper at Cheltenham to Envoi Allen & won his first 3 hurdle starts, with a pair of Grade 2 wins & the Challow 2m 4f Grade 1 at Newbury in December 2019. He finished 1 & 1/2 length 4th to Monkfish in the 2m 7f 213yds Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival in 2020.
Beat Paisley Park on season return in the Grade 2 Newbury Long Distance Hurdle over 3m 52yds & the pair finished 1 & 2 in the Ascot Long Walk Grade 1 over 3m 97yds & were separated by a head, with Paisley Park getting the nod & reversing the form. Thyme Hill missed Cheltenham with a niggle & comes in to the race fresh. WIN
The 2021 Grand National – Grade 3 Handicap Chase – 7yo Plus – 4m 2f 74yds…
Selection – Burrows Saint – 8yr old Gelding out of Saint Des Saint and La Bombonera, has had 13 runs on UK soil winning 5 times and finishing in the first 3 on 9 separate occasions. Although hasn’t ran at Aintree before has won an Irish National back in 2019 and enters calculation in today’s race based on that performance. Was 2nd to Acapella Bourgeois at Fairyhouse last time out over 3m 1f 110y on heavy ground, that was in favour of Acapella who relishes testing conditions, The tables can be turned today as Burrows Saint gets ideal ground today and that could be deciding factor in this gruelling test.
My shortlist based on key trends has narrowed the field down to 3. Cloth Cap is a worthy favourite and ticks all the boxes, but I can’t get involved at such a short price on a horse who has never faced a test like this. Kimberlite Candy has run 2 fine races over these fences in the Becher Chase previously, giving the impression this unique and extreme test will suit. I’m not overly concerned about the ground, with more water being added to the course in the past 24 hours. He must go close granted another clear round. At a bigger price Anibale Fly can give you a run for your money. This has once again been the plan and he can add to his 4th and 5th places in the race off this reduced mark. As always, shop around for best place terms.
Selection: Any Second Now
Well, the Grand National is upon us yet again. After it’s abandonment last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic I am raring to go. I was impressed by the manner of Any Second Now‘s victory in a Grade 2 over 2m last month and I think he has been prepared to the minute by Ted Walsh. The vibes are very positive around Any Second Now. I think that Grade 2 success over 2m really showed his wellbeing. His previous form before that win was nothing special but the shrewd old master Ted Walsh was keen to protect his handicap rating and he looks well in here off 10st 9lbs. This race has been the aim since his Cheltenham Festival success in 2019. Of course he has to prove his stamina but if does, as I expect him to then I think he has a good shout of finishing in the top 5 or 6 at least. The ground is fine for him too.
It’s been a few years since the late Monet’s Garden flew the flag for Nicky Richards at Aintree and he has a real livewire chance with Takingrisks who actually beat Cloth Cap a few years ago in the Scottish National at Ayr, stays well and showed age is just a number when he landed the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster back in January.
His trainer does well with keeping these old stagers active and winning racing, this could be a fine afternoon for Northern jump racing.
Magic of Light – Flemensfirth X Quest of Passion 10yo Mare.
Last seen in the mares’ Chase at Cheltenham on March 19th, finishing a 34 lengths behind the winner in 8th, having won the Newbury Mares’ Listed Chase 2m 7f 86yds in December. She finished 2nd by 8 lengths to Roksana when back over hurdles in a Grade 2 mares’ race.
Her form mirrors the same as in 2019 when she finished a 2 & 3/4 length runner up in this race to Tiger Roll & I have waited 2 years for this….
That concludes our coverage of the 2021 Grand National Festival from Aintree. Thank you for popping by & for your support, we really appreciate it…
All the best – The Arseonlineracing Team