RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Day 2 of Aintree.
15:25 Aintree | ITV1
The Melling Chase is my favourite race of the meeting and this looks a very interesting renewal. Plenty of Cheltenham Festival form on offer again and it looks a really tight little race.
Sub Lieutenant has had a really consistent season and took his form to a new level when second to Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair.
The winner was impressive however isn’t running here making Sub Lieutenant the horse to beat today. With no issues regarding the ground or trip he is likely to go close.
Fox Norton ran a solid race in the Queen Mother doing his best work late on so should appreciate the extra distance here. He has improved significantly from his novice days and Colin Tizzard has done a great job with him. However his best form is round Cheltenham and he was well beaten here last season.
God’s Own is a frustrating horse as I’ve backed him on so many occasions this season without success. Saying that he loves this time of year and won this race last season. He ran better than the result indicates at Cheltenham (some shuddering errors) and if his jumping holds up in think he can make it win number two in this race.
16:05 Aintree | ITV
The Topham Chase is one of the most popular races of the meeting as it’s over the National fences. This is only run over 2 miles 5 furlongs so there is a lot of pressure on the jumping. There is a huge field lining up so I’m looking for a reliable jumper and an experienced jockey for my selection.
Bouvreuil ran a great race at the festival in March and is a very talented chaser. He has plenty of experience in big fields and I suspect he is better than his current mark, I just don’t think he is made for these fences. I may be wrong but this doesn’t strike me as the race for him.
Eastlake is bound to be popular today as he has a fantastic record over these obstacles and comes from a stable that loves these types of races.
The first choice colours of JP McManus means he will be well supported too, however I’m not sure if he is for me. He is 11 now and becoming really inconsistent and he is too much of a risk for me.
As De Mee is a winner over course and distance before and must be respected here. He loves this ground, is a solid jumper and his stable is in fine form so he ticks a lot of boxes today. He has a good racing weight and I think he will be in contention late on so I’m backing him each way today.
16:40 Aintree | ITV1
The Sefton Novice Hurdle is the fourth Grade 1 of a fantastic days racing and this time staying novice hurdlers take centre stage.
Rather surprisingly for a top grade novice hurdle there are no representatives from Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott but it’s still are very good renewal.
Constantine Bay finished fifth in the Albert Bartlet at Cheltenham last time out and would almost certainly have finished closer but for being badly impeded two out. Though he wasn’t looking like winning he is progressive and likely to run a big race here once again.
Beyond Conceit is taking a big step up in trip here and looking at his flat form he is likely to appreciate it. However if you watch his first two starts over hurdles you wouldn’t think the extra mile here will be a huge advantage to him and despite the flat, sharp track making it easier to stay he isn’t one I’m interested in here.
The one I do like is the Tom George trained The World’s End. A winner of three hurdles, including a Grade 2 he was travelling ominously well when falling two out in the Albert Bartlet. Though it’s a worry given it was quite a heavy fall I think he looks a very good prospect and can gain compensation here.