Ceebee previews Day 1 of the Grand National meeting and his bets include Nube Negre and L'Ami Serge.
There are four G1 races at Aintree on Thursday. I’m struggling to get a handle on the novice chase, but have an each-way selection in the other three. Both Boylesports and Paddy Power have money back specials if second to the Fav so shop around.
2.20 4yo Hurdle
Skelton’s horses were not going great in the run up to Cheltenham (they did still win the County) but I think overall they are in better form in the past couple of weeks. His Nube Negra looked a fairly speedy strong travelling type in the Fred Winter and it’d be not surprise were he to prefer Aintree over Cheltenham.
He also hit the front far too early the last day, he’s better than that and may have a chance to show it here. From December he doesn’t have huge amounts to find with Apple’s Shakira and she might not be totally at home on this flatter speedier track.
Act of Valour, Sussex Ranger, City Dreamer and The King of May have all done very little in good company to frank the form of We Have a Dream. Both of Henderson’s are short in the betting and opposable each way here.
1pt e/w Nube Negra 10/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair
Note Bet365 are going ¼ odds where others aren’t; like I said – shop around
2.50 3m1f Bowl
If you are eager to be against Cheltenham horses that have had a tough race then you are definitely against Might Bite. That was a gruelling Gold Cup; he ran really well but finished knackered. Thing is though, he’s only had two other races this season, neither of which looked very difficult and he did manage to win at both Cheltenham and Aintree last season. Oh and he’s also a class act who is far better than this lot – don’t be too eager to oppose him. But oppose him I will….
Double Shuffle was flattered in the King George. Might Bite was ridden to beat Bristol de Mai, which he did comfortably and then idled badly just doing enough. The rest took no beating as Whisper was poor and Thistlecrack wasn’t the force of old.
Tea for Two won this last year but he was generally in better form last season and was fresher then after dumping Lizzie early in the Gold Cup. Sub Lieutenant looks well below par this season. Clan des Obeaux must improve a good chunk, he’s been a good handicapper to date is all.
Definitely Red is overrated after beating a non-staying Cloudy Dream and then winning a weak Pillar. I prefer the fresh horses here than one of the Gold Cup also-rans.
Bristol de Mai is the each way selection against Might Bite. Soft ground and flat track – an ideal test. Coming off a break looks to be a positive also. He has put in some of his best efforts when fresh. He was beaten in this 12mts ago but was after running a decent race in the Gold Cup just weeks before and the ground was probably too lively. No such worries this year and the recent wind-op is no bad thing. He was drastically overrated after the Betfair win at Haydock but he’s still better than Definitly Red and Double Shuffle and has lots in his favour here.
1pt e/w Bristol de Mai at 11/2 with Paddy Power and Betfair
Might Bite is drifting as I type – if it continues get stuck in.
3.25 2m4f Aintree Hurdle
Supasundae has only won 2 of his last 8 starts. A handicap hurdle off 148 and a weak renewal of the Irish Champion Hurdle. He’s now evens for a G1. I’ll be taking him on for sure. The Stayers Hurdle was ideal for this speedy flat bred – two of them fought out the finish. He’s the right favourite but far too short and I’m happy to take him on with a solid each way bet.
LAmi Serge didn’t have the Stayers run to suit at all. He wants to come late with one long run off a strong pace, not get caught in a sprint. In a very different sort of test he can reverse places with Supasundae. 4 of his last 5 starts have been at 3miles but I believe on soft ground that this trip is his optimum. The form of his two Ascot runs early in the season (2nd to Sam Spinner & 2nd to Lil Rockfeller giving weight) are pretty much on a par with anything else in this race. He seems to have been around for years but only two of his rivals here are younger than him.
Air Horse One and Clyne are 150 odd handicappers, they’ve 10lbs to find. Izzo has even more and Diakali faces a tough ask on his seasonal reappearance. Cyrus Darius has at times looked like a graded horse but I doubt he is.
My Tent won the Bula but that was his first win in 12 starts; granted he was keeping good company but it’s not ideal. And when winning he was getting weight off his two main rivals. It’ll be a little harder here. The New One should’ve fared better in the slowly run Stayers Hurdle. Perhaps age has caught up on the busy 10yo.
1pt e/w Lami Serge at 13/2 with Bet365
Possibly the only race all year where I start with the jockey and work back to the horse. Many of these (jockeys) aren’t up to the unique test required. But saying that the horse is important and I don’t know enough of them here to have a bet. Grand Vision is probably the right favourite.
4.40 2m Red Rum Chase
I’m against the first few home in the Grand Annual, Theinval and Gino Trail, they had a tough race. Diego du Charmil is well handicapped based on his hurdles form but may want better ground and may have lost confidence by falling last time out. Theflyportrait wants better ground also. Vosne Romanee’s best form is all on better ground and in smaller fields than this. King Socks didn’t have any obvious excuse the last day to suggest he should be favourite here. He may enjoy this trip more but the Pipe yard’s wins to runs ratio is still horribly low. Baby King is a CD winner who comes here fresh and Bun Doran was 3rd in this race last season as a 6yo novice. Both appeal but the form of the Tom George yard is a worry.
The pace looks set to be strong so I’m eager to find a hold up horse who’ll finish off his race well and I think Tommy Silver fits the bill. He makes his handicap debut having kept decent company in novice chase without disgracing himself. This race has been a happy hunting ground for novices. Young and unexposed (rated higher over hurdles), fresher than the Cheltenham horses, handles soft ground, race likely run to suit. That’ll do.
1pt e/w Tommy Silver at 10/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair
0.5pt e/w yankee Lami Serge, Nube Negra, Bristol de Mai (5,500/1 fourfold with PP & BFSB is you’re curious)