The Messenger previews Thursday's racing at Aintree and he has two bets starting with L'Ami Serge in the Aintree Hurdle.
Aintree 3.25: L’Ami Serge
L’Ami Serge definitely fits into the status of being an enigma. However this 8yo possesses plenty of class and will I think enjoy this sharp track far more than the likes of Cheltenham.
He could only manage eighth in the farcically run Stayers Hurdle and has often been found wanting for pressure on stiff finishes like Cheltenham, or over truly run 3m such as when second to Sam Spinner in the Long Walk at Ascot.
He took really well though to racing back in his native France last spring, winning the French Champion Hurdle (3m1f) on that sharp, left-handed track. That bodes well for his first hurdle around Aintree. There are a few rivals who might not be classed genuine Grade 1 performers and whilst he is not the easiest to win with, he does at least look a solid each-way bet at the prices.
Aintree 5:15: Getaway Katie Mai
John Queally is famous for the Aintree exploits of his former stable star Al Eile and he can taste some much needed Aintree success with his talented mare Getaway Katie Mai.
After a very encouraging debut in the point to point field, Getaway Katie Mai opened her account on the track at the first time of asking at Ballinrobe last August. She was off the track for a long time before returning in a Grade 2 mares bumper at Leopardstown. In that contest she was positioned at the back of the field for most of the race, but made very smooth progress from the rear as they approached the straight. The winner Relegate had slipped the field however and was not for catching, but this daughter of Getaway came nicely clear of the remainder and also overhauled the smart Colreevy in the closing stages to grab second.
The form got a huge boost when Relegate won the Cheltenham bumper and Getaway Katie Mai looks a very smart performer in the making. The 11/4 looks more than fair and she can exact revenge on her Lemonfield conqueror, Posh Trish.