Day One at the Aintree Festival provided shocks aplenty, with La Bague Au Roi, Band Of Outlaws and Buveur D’Air all failing to justify their place at the top of the market.
Now it’s onto Day Two, where Politologue will take on Waiting Patiently and Topofthegame renews rivalries with Lostintranslation in the Mildmay Chase.
We’ve gone over both of contests and the five other races on the card in our Aintree Festival Racing Tips.
1:45 Merseyrail Hadicap Hurdle – Kobrouk (each-way)
That Nicky Henderson has opted to include a horse that’s been off the track for 700 days in such a hot renewal has to tell you something. Either that the trainer is potty or he’s quietly confident of Kobrouk’s chances.
We’re choosing to side with the latter. The eight-year-old has some very smart form in France and if he can return in top shape could hit the frame for Seven Barrows, who’ve won this three times in the last six years.
2:20 Top Novices’ Hurdle – Southfield Stone (Lively Longshot)
Southfield Stone is three from five over hurdles this term and got the better of the well-fancied Angels Breath when last seen at Kempton in February.
He’ll go fresh after missing the Festival and has a progressive enough profile to suggest he’ll challenge market leaders Itchy Feet and Aramon, both of whom ran at Prestbury Park.
Paul Nicholls’ charge should enjoy the flat track, and after impressing when third in the Tolworth in January, he’s our tip to go well again over 2m here.
2:50 Mildmay Novices’ Chase – Topofthegame (NB)
Providing Topofthegame and Lostintranslation are both sound following their ding-dong battle at Cheltenham it should be down to the pair to fight it out again in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.
Nicholls’ charge got the better of his rival by 1/2l in the RSA and can confirm that here in only his fourth run of the season. A clean jumping performance should see the 2020 Gold Cup contender get home in front.
3:25 Aintree Hurdle – Waiting Patiently
Waiting Patiently didn’t go to Cheltenham and he could benefit from that breather as he takes on Min and Politologue, both of whom ran hard races at the Festival.
Ruth Jefferson’s charge has endured a disappointing campaign but can bounce back from an unsuccessful defence of his Ascot Chase crown here if returning to peak form.
He’s already finished ahead of Politologue twice in his career. With cheekpieces fitted and tread in the ground he’s capable of repeating the trick almost two years on.
4:05 Topham Chase – Janika
It’s not very original to tip up the fav in a 30-runner race. But you have to respect Henderson’s record in the Topham. The trainer has won the contest three times in last six years, and twice with six-year-olds.
That leads us to Janika, who fits the same profile as Ma Filleule and Triolo D’Alene. He ran a stormer to finish runner-up behind Siruh Du Lac at the Festival, who has headed him in the raider’s last two starts.
His foe doesn’t line-up here. That gives our tip every chance as he bids to keep on improving ahead of a serious tilt in Graded company next term.
4:40 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle – Champ (NAP)
Champ is one we’ve been keen on for a while. He won for us in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle and then in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury before being outbattled up the Cheltenham hill in the Ballymore.
He’s back on a more straightforward track at Aintree and his breeding makes it look as though he should handle the step up to 3m with aplomb. On that basis he gets the nod ahead of the interesting Dallas Des Pictons.
5:15 Champion Standard Open Flat Race – Adjourned (each-way)
The last two winners of this race have returned prices of 25/1 and 33/1. With that in mind, we’re taking a punt on something with nice plump odds to get the job done over 2m 1f.
Adjourned hacked up by 6l in his one and only racecourse start at Sedgefield in October. He was subsequently purchased by The Jury syndicate for £110,000 and switched to notable trainer Kim Bailey.
She’ll have the four-year-old in tip-top condition, which gives us hope the David Bass-piloted charge can find the improvement required to hit the frame at a more than enticing price.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication