Ceebee previews Aintree on Saturday and has bets including Double Shuffle in the Many Clouds Chase.
2.05 Aintree – Many Clouds Grade 2 Chase 3m1f
Only 4 go to post for what is a fairly weak Grade 2 Chase. I’m eager to back Double Shuffle against the favourite Definitly Red.
There’s officially just 2lbs between them and Double Shuffle carries 6lbs less here. His rating may be a little inflated due to his King George effort last Christmas but prior to that he was a solid 150’s horse. It’ll take a good one to give him 6lbs and a beating. Some of his best form is over 3miles at Kempton so this similarly flat 3miles should suit (even though he flopped her in April).
Stable form is a worry for Definitly Red. The Ellison yard have had just two winners in the past month from over 25 runners. There’s also holes to be picked in his form – his best results have come in weak races. This race last year, his reappearance at Wetherby and his Trails Day win last January all came against either poor or underperforming opposition.
Technically these two clashed first time out but Double Shuffle didn’t get past the first fence. Interestingly it was Tom George’s charge who was shorter in the betting that day and now he’s 11/4 in what is essentially a match race.
Acdc is going to be badly outclassed and One For Arthur will need this after 600+ days off. He is prepping for April and ideally wants further as well.
2pts win Double Shuffle at 3/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill
13.30 Becher Chase 3m2f
Paddy Power going an eye-catching 6 places each way here. Plenty of them look to have no chance. Just focusing on those at the top of the market I’m against:
Ultragold - trip an issue and on career high mark turning 11.
Don Poli – fitness and whether he’ll be trying if the National is the plan. Same applies to Noble Endeavour.
Present Man – won his Gold Cup first time out, it’ll be hard to go in again in a better race.
Ballyoptic – I’m not sure has much more in him than this 155 mark based on the efforts of Black Corton & Elegant Escape this season.
Blacklion – is solid enough, he should go close but it was a very weak race last year (with hindsight) and is now 5lbs higher. He hasn’t always been at his best when fresh is a worry as well. That leaves two.
Crosshue Boy – improved dramatically last spring to win 4 out of 5. The last was a decent staying handicap chase at Ayr. The 2nd Dingo Dollar franked the form in the Hennessy last Saturday and the 3rd & 5th have won since as well. Up just 7lbs Crosshue Boy is still unexposed as a staying chaser and can land a big pot. He’s been targeting this race so ignore his last effort over hurdles – that was just to blow the cobwebs off.
Vieux Lion Rouge – won this race first time out in 2016. Now he’s just 4lbs higher. He also won first time out in 2015 so no issue that he’s coming in fresh. And he’s jumped around in the last three Nationals so these unique fences won’t be a problem. He’s had a wind-op which might bring about some improvement. Pipe’s have been a bit hit and miss but he had a winner Friday. Vieux Lion Rouge has won off this mark before. Plenty to like.
1pt e/w Vieux Lion Rouge at 12/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair
1pt e/w Crosshue Boy at 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair
3.15 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase 2m5f
Thankfully we are in a lovely position after getting involved earlier in the week. Let’s hope they aren’t just value losers.
1pt e/w Crievehill 12/1
1.5pt e/w Shanahan’s Turn 16/1