The Grand National meeting continues at Aintree and John Duggan goes through the card with his selections for some of the key races.
Yesterday was an excellent day, with two winners, Me Too Please and Abacadabras advertised at 11/1 and 4/1 and two-second places (Clondaw Castle and Sully D'Oc AA) tipped each way from the five recommendations.
The big race goes to post at 5.15pm on Saturday, but in the meantime, there are some decent races on Friday's seven-race card, with the going on the easy side of good.
I do find today harder to work out than yesterday.
1.45 - Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
I look for unexposed horses in these types of races and I think Mister Coffey could have a bit in hand. He's very highly regarded - trainer Nicky Henderson said he was 'going to be a spectacular horse'. Henderson has won three of the last seven runnings of this race and this horse, who cost over 300 thousand euro, should be good enough to make the frame after tuning up in the Betfair Hurdle last time out.
Recommendation: Mister Coffey each way
2.40 - Top Novices Hurdle
Dusart is all the rage and a worthy favourite for Nicky Henderson, but I do like the each-way claims of Houx Gris for Paul Nicholls. Fourth in the Fred Winter juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham, he travelled well but just ran a bit too free. On a flatter track, receiving the weight allowance and on better ground, he could reach the frame.
Recommendation: Houx Gris each way
2.50 - Mildmay Novices Chase
Envoi Allen's fall robbed the race of its star, but I was impressed by how Chantry House saw out the final furlong to win the Marsh Novices Chase at Cheltenham. He jumps well, will like the good ground and as a winning point to pointer, I believe he will stay the three-mile trip today. He's a worthy favourite for me.
Recommendation: Chantry House win
4.05 - Topham Handicap Chase
I am taking a chance here on an outsider called Glen Forsa, who at his best, was a top novice for trainer Mick Channon. In some of his races earlier in his career, his jumping was exceptional and I remember him not only routing a good field at Christmas at Kempton, but then trouncing Kalashnikov in a Grade 2. He seems to have completely lost his way, but perhaps the Grand National fences can spark a revival for this horse who has had surgery on his breathing. Jonathan Burke rides and off 10 stone 12, you never know if he can get into a rhythm early on.
Recommendation: Glen Forsa each way
Aintree Friday - Virtual money advice - €9:
2.50 - €3 win Chantry House 13/8
1.45 - €1 each way Mister Coffey 11/2 (1/5 odds the first 7 places)
2.20 - €1 each way Houx Gris 9/1 (1/5 odds the first 3 places)
4.05 - €1 each way Glen Forsa 50/1 (1/5 odds the first 6 places)
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!