Aintree Tips – Race by Race Betting Tips for Thursday’s Grand National Meeting Card
The Grand National Festival gets underway on Thursday 8th April and Henry has gone through the card and picked a tip from every race.
Things get underway at 1.45pm with a Grade 1 Novice Chase and there are also five races live on ITV Racing, starting with the 2.20pm Juvenile Hurdle.
See each of our Aintree day 1 tips below and the odds at the time of writing, plus a free bet to spend on the day’s racing.
Aintree Tips Thursday
The first race from Aintree on the opening day is a Grade 1 Novice Chase over the intermediate trip of 2m4f. It is a cracking renewal with Cheltenham festival winner The Shunter, Marsh Novices Chase runner-up Fusil Raffles and the exciting Nicholls charge Hitman all lining up.
The one I like is FUSIL RAFFLES NB (5/2) who ran a great race when finishing second behind Chantry House at Cheltenham over this trip. I think the flat track of Aintree will suit Fusil Raffles more than Cheltenham. He is a speedy horse that has proven he stays this 2m4f trip well. The quick ground will be ideal for him and I think Jacob will have him sitting just off what is likely to be a strong pace before making his move in the home straight.
The 2:20 race is another Grade 1 for us to enjoy on the opening. This time it is for the juveniles over the 2m trip. Adagio brings strong form to the table after finishing second in the Triumph Hurdle last month and a repeat of that effort will see him go very close.
However, I really like MONMIRAL (10/11) and I like that Paul Nicholls has always had this race as the horses number one target for the season as he bypassed Cheltenham. Especially for this younger horses, I think they may need more time than most to recover from tough races and I don’t know if Adagio will be out his best so soon after Cheltenham. Monmiral already holds Adagio on previous form and I don’t see how reversing that here given the circumstances. The remainder of the field have to improve a lot to feature in my opinion and I think Monmiral will win if he runs his race.
The 2:50 race is the Betfred Bowl Chase, a Grade 1 3m Chase. It is a weak renewal given the strength we’ve seen in recent years. Clan Des Obeaux heads the market but he hasn’t won for a while and he’s not getting any younger. Waiting Patiently has a great chance as 3m on a flat track is exactly what he wants in my opinion and I wouldn’t put anyone off him here.
However, the one I like is CLONDAW CASTLE EW (9/1) for the shrewd Tom George team. He relished the step up to 3m last time out at Kempton where he won what looked a really competitive handicap very well staying on strongly to the line to win well. He is still unexposed over this trip and he appears the value in the race from an each way perspective. The race has a tendency to throw up a little shock and I think he is the most likely to cause a minor upset in this 2021 renewal. Trainer Tom George won the same Kempton handicap race before taken victory honours in this race with the great Nacarat and I think he’s always had that plan in mind for this horse.
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The Aintree Hurdle is next up, a Grade 1 over the intermediate trip of 2m4f. McFabulous heads the market but I believe that’s based on hype rather than proven form. He has potential to be very good but he hasn’t beat much throughout his career and this will require a career-best by some way to win this. Abacadabras is an intriguing runner but he looks all speed to me and this trip will be a stretch.
The one I like is JASON THE MILITANT (9/2). The duo of Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore need no introduction after their fine Cheltenham Festival and they can add an Aintree win to that impressive CV here. He’s a hardy sort that has sneaked under the radar this season and I’m surprised he’s not shorter here. I expect him to jump out and go from the front. He jumps well and I think he’ll prove tough to pass. He beat the tough Petit Mouchoir last time out staying on well for pressure last time out over 2m on heavy ground where I thought he showed the 2m4f trip wouldn’t be an issue. It could arguably bring out even further improvement. The Irish horses always need to be respected given the current situation and I think this horse is bound to be in the frame at worst.
The first race over the National fences this week comes up at 4:05, the Foxhunters Hunters Chase over 2m5f. The amateurs get their opportunity to enjoy the unique track and after missing Cheltenham there will be plenty of excitement amongst the weighing room.
The one I like here is LATENIGHTPASS EW (10/1). Still unexposed at the age of 8 he ran a cracker in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham where he jumped boldly from the front given the impression these unique fences would be right up his street. He looked like the likely winner coming down the hill before his stamina gave way over the 3m2f trip. This drop in trip looks the right move and Gina Andrews is a good jockey booking.
The Red Rum Handicap Chase is next up over 2m and Getaway Trump heads the market at 5/1 which shows how wide open this contest is.
The one I like is DESTRIER NAP (7/1) for the Skelton team. He ran the best race of his career in a Grade 1 here at this meeting last season where he finished third beaten only 3l. That was on good ground and he has only raced on soft and heavy ground since that effort. The horse needs good ground and he should get it here. I feel like he’s been plotted for a race of this nature and if the weather works in our favour, he’s the bet of the day. The Skelton team continue to bang in the winners and they can add another here.
The finale on Day 1 is an intriguing mares Bumper in which Champion Bumper third Elle Est Belle bring Champion Bumper form to the table after finishing a fine third behind Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit at Cheltenham.
However, I think EILEENDOVER (10/11) will take an awful lot of beating here. Again, I like that she skipped Cheltenham and this has always been her number one target. She comes in here fresh and her victory last time out was pretty breathtaking. That made it a hat-trick and I can see her completing the four-timer here on a track that will suit her style very well.
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