Grand National Festival Betting Tips Day One
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Grand National Festival Betting Tips Day One

After missing out in 2020, Aintree's Grand National Festival makes a welcome return this week. Three days of top class National Hunt racing on the lush Merseyside turf will culminate with Saturday's big race. Before that, day one includes a fantastic four Grade 1 contests, headlined by Betway Bowl (2.50pm) and the Aintree Hurdle (3.25pm). The Racing Post bring you their betting tips and analysis for all of the day one action at Aintree (1.45pm-5.15pm; seven races).



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1.45 - SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices' Chase (Grade 1, 2m4f)

A really mouth-watering opener at Aintree with seven going to post. Umbrigado remains on an upward curve (3-4 over fences) despite a touch of fortune to last month's Newbury Grade 3 success. He's respected alongside The Shunter, a revelation lately for Emmet Mullins and a Cheltenham Festival winner last month - but both are taken on today.

Eldorado Allen took second behind Shishkin in the Arkle three weeks ago and can thrive here upped in trip, he's a major player for Colin Tizzard's team.

The pair likely to frame the betting are Hitman for Paul Nicholls and FUSIL RAFFLES for Nicky Henderson. The former was a faller at Sandown in February in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles but boosted his confidence with a bloodless success around Newbury since and should have a big say but preference is for the Marsh Novices' Chase runner-up.

He was pulled up at Cheltenham in November in a race Eldorado Allen won, but that's really the only blot on his chasing copybook. He won back there in December and ran a fine second at the Festival last month behind stablemate Chantry House. He ought to be very nicely suited to this layout and can get Henderson and Daryl Jacob off to a fast start at Aintree.

Selection: Fusil Raffles

Next Best: Eldorado Allen

 

2.20 - Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1, 2m1f)

With the Paul Nicholls team flying Monmiral is set to start favourite for this Grade 1 prize. After winning his only start at Auteuil 13 months ago, he's a perfect 3-3 for this trainer and it's unlikely we've seen him fully go to the well yet. More to come from him in all probability but, on what he's achieved thus far, perhaps a minor surprise to find him trading odds-on for this.

ADAGIO looks a major threat to him for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore. He's picked up excellent experience this season, winning three of his five starts over timber, including the Grade 1 Finale at Chepstow in January on soft ground, for that ties in nicely with Monmiral based on Nassalam and Elham Valley filling the places.

He also ran a cracker last month in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham when second-best behind Quilixios, beating the likes of Zanahiyr and Tritonic in that race. He's a good ground winner already this season, so the drying ground here won't faze him and, trading at around 2/1, he's decent value to lower the colours of Monmiral. A minor concern that this comes 20 days after his Triumph second but he has fronted up in quick time already this season and it shouldn't be a barrier here.

The other four have it to prove really on form, with Musselburgh winners Fiveandtwenty and Paros needing more for Donald McCain and Nicky Henderson to bag this prize. The filly isn't completing written off under Brian Hughes but it will be a shock if the front pair in the market are both defeated.

Selection: Adagio

Next Best: Monmiral

2.50 - Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1, 3m1f)

It would be quite typical of the Tiger Roll story if he comes here and wins a Grade 1 on Thursday instead of bidding for a Grand National hat-trick on Saturday.

Gigginstown House Stud must surely have some regrets about taking him out of that race, given the romp he delivered in last month's Cheltenham Cross County race. His owners say that race won't translate into Grade 1 form and their theory is about to be tested. Wisdom says they are probably correct in that analysis, though it rates a great pity Tiger Roll has been denied a shot at three Grand Nationals in a row in order to prove a point. That being said, he loves this place and you couldn't write him off with any great conviction.

Native River begins life after Richard Johnson here and while he's top-rated in this, it's hard to see how his stamina-laden, front-running tactics will pay off here on drying ground.

Mister Fisher has plenty talent and perhaps this increased trip will afford him a chance to jump better. He could be a danger in that scenario but he was rather undone by his fencing in the Ryanair last month.

Clondaw Castle showed a liking for this trip at Kempton in February and will enjoy this track, though he is asked for a definite career-best to take care of this field.

Dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux was second in this in 2019 but remains winless since he added a second Boxing Day showpiece later that year. His Betfair Chase second on comeback was readily forgivable on testing ground in what amounted to a home game for Bristol De Mai at Haydock but both outings since have been underwhelming.

He was third in the King George at Christmas and then second in the Denman at Newbury in February, races won by his Ditcheat stablemates Frodon and Secret Investor respectively. That he started favourite for both surely confirms that he's a head-scratcher for the champion trainer-elect these days.

WAITING PATIENTLY was six-lengths clear of him at Kempton in December when second in the King George and may be the answer here. He was very patiently ridden in that race by Brian Hughes with some reservations about the trip. He got it well, but ultimately couldn't peg back front-running Frodon.

He's finished a pleasing third in the Grade 1 Clarence House (2m1f) at Ascot in one run since and comes into this fresh. Ruth Jefferson's charge is good enough to win a Grade 1 of this ilk and his Kempton run at Christmas tells us this trip, on this track, should be within his compass. Connections will be keen to have him closer to the pace and he could be a key winner this week for Hughes in his bid to retain the jockeys' championship.

Selection: Waiting Patiently

Next Best: Clan Des Obeaux


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3.25 - Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1, 2m4f)

Brewin'upastorm was getting 6lb from McFabulous when he won Fontwell's National Spirit in late February. Olly Murphy's charge has thrived for the switch back to hurdles recently and is a player, but with that turnaround at the weights and conditions/track very much in his favour, the previously progressive McFabulous may have his revenge here for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.

That will put him right into the mix but this is a trappy race.

Christmas Hurdle scorer Silver Streak could be dangerous on the front end here, though he does have a stamina concern to address, while old adversary Song For Someone rarely runs a bad race and should throw his hat in the ring at some stage.

There are plenty conundrums remaining. It's four years since Buveur D'air won this race and he was only second to Supasundae in 2019. His Haydock return in January was a little disappointing but Nicky Henderson swerved Cheltenham to come here and he should not be overlooked as he should come on significantly for that return to action. At double-figure odds, the Seven Barrows star is maybe being overlooked in haste.

The Irish dominated at Cheltenham and, of today's four Grade 1 races, this might be one likeliest for export as both ABACADABRAS and Jason The Militant are big players moved up in trip.

There was little to split them in the Grade 1 Morgiana at Punchestown in November, with Jason The Militant a half-length behind Jack Kennedy's mount in third, Saint Roi splitting them.

Henry De Bromhead's charge took a Fairyhouse Grade 3 (2m, soft) in February in his lone outing since and cannot be crossed off easily but the Gigginstown inmate is preferred.

He came down in the Champion Hurdle last month as early as the third and should bounce back. He had been second to Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle previous to that and, with the mare at home this week, could be the answer over this new trip.

Selection: Abacadabras

Next Best: Buveur D'air

 

4.05 - Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters' Open Hunters' Chase (National Course, 2m5f)

Cheltenham bridesmaid Billaway will again prove popular in the betting and it shouldn't come as a shock if he delivers a compensatory success here under Patrick Mullins. His price should reflect that accurately enough, however, and it might be worth seeking extra value with plenty alternatives.

Paul Nicholls' record in this sphere is impressive these days and both Cat Tiger and Samtegal require serious consideration.

Recent Down Royal winner Some Man has more on his plate, but could be capable of better again, while Dashing Perk is another with scope for better in hunters' chases and has a strong team around him in Richard Newland and Sam Waley-Cohen.

Mighty Stowaway may do better here with Jamie Codd on his back but he was disappointing last time at Cheltenham and so an each-way chance is taken with CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK for trainer Fergal O'Brien. The eight-year-old ran well on debut for this yard when third behind Samtegal at Wincanton in February - his first run for a year - but couldn't justify favouritism 20 days later at Doncaster.

Perhaps that first run back took some toll, he's had a longer break this time and might just be one that is suited by the reduced emphasis on stamina in this event. He's a big price to hit the frame.

Selection: Captain Cattistock

Next Best: Dashing Perk

 

4.40 - Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 1m7½f)

A wide open renewal. Moon Over Germany won this two years ago and shaped quite well back from a break in Ireland last month. He's got the talented Jordan Gainford taking 7lb off and cannot be discounted from belatedly retaining this mantle.

Getaway Trump is still potentially well treated after last month's taking score at Doncaster and must be on the shortlist for the Nicholls/Cobden team here.

Destrier has found it tough going this season and needs to bounce back to form, while On The Slopes ran a good race in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham last time and should be well suited around here. He's been left on a mark of 140 and makes decent appeal again.

FRERO BANBOU came good for Venetia Williams at Sandown last month on good to soft going over this distance, winning with lots to spare. The French import may be ready to kick on now, that run being his first after a wind operation, and is taken to have a major say again despite a 13lb rise in the ratings.

Selection: Frero Banbou

Next Best: On The Slopes

 

5.15 - Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares' Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2, 2m1f)

Pam Sly opted to steer clear of Cheltenham last month with EILEENDOVER and this promising filly looks hard to oppose here.

She's 3-3 already in bumpers this season and has won on ground ranging from good-heavy. She had more than six-lengths in hand on runner-up Miss Lamb at Market Rasen in January and the winner promises to be better away from that testing ground.

That form stands up, Grangee taking a Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival next time, while fourth home Dragon Blues won a Listed contest over timber last month. This is another solid test but Eileendover should pass it before moving on for an interesting summer campaign on the level in all probability.

Soft-ground course winner Elle Est Belle lost her unbeaten record when third in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last month and must rate a massive danger back here, if that three-week turnaround doesn't present a problem for Dan Skelton's charge.

The unbeaten Wheres Maud Gone has place claims, as does Code Name Lise for Lucy Wadham with better ground to suit but Tweed Skirt was ahead of the latter at Sandown in a strong Listed Mares bumper last month on testing ground. Nicky Henderson's runner is around 25/1 here and a solid enough option for place money in a race the jolly may dominate.

Selection: Eileendover

Next Best: Tweed Skirt

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