The Messenger had a brilliant double at Aintree on Thursday and he has two bets for Fridays card.
Aintree 1.45: Spiritofthegames
Spiritofthegames has been improving race on race having started the year with a win in a minor handicap at Lingfield. He has performed with great credit in defeat since – second in the Lanzarote over this trip at Kempton, and then placed in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and Count Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival at around 2m. I think this 2m4f trip around a sharp track is his ideal scenario – his race wins last year came at sharp tracks like Ayr and Taunton.
Aintree 3.25: Balko des Flos
A revelation when running away with the Ryanair Chase, Balko des Flos can prove that win to be no fluke by following up here.
An impressive winner of the Galway Plate in the summer, he was not so good in two runs on much softer going in the autumn. However he could not be crabbed with his runners up position in the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown, so narrowly defeated by Road to Respect.
He was then kept fresh for Cheltenham and I must admit I fully expected him to struggle on the soft ground. However he was well in command from the third last and left Un De Sceaux well behind in the straight. Min is a good horse, but possibly not a great one and is not yet proven at this longer trip. The selection is and can prove himself a true Grade 1 performer today.
0.75pts each-way – Spiritofthegames – 1.45 Aintree at 10/1 with Bet365
2pts win – Balko Des Flos – 3.25 Aintree – 9/4 with Betfair and Paddy Power