RACING fan Pete Hamill (@RiskForRewards) picks out favourite fancy from Day 3 of the Aintree Festival on Saturday.
Ryanair Stayers Liverpool Hurdle | Saturday 10th April 2021, 15:45 | ITV
Background: The Big Bucks centre-piece having followed up in this event four times in a row.
Statistics: There have been a total of 5/6 Stayers hurdle winners who have followed up. 7/11 favourites winning with only 2 winners sent off 11/2 or bigger. 15/16 won grade 1 or grade 2. 14/16 had run at the meeting previously with 12/16 finishing first or second. 8/16 were top rated with 170+ horses 6/7.
This market tends to be a good guide in this racing with only 2/11 winners send off 11/2 or bigger. Bar Lisnegar Oscar (stayers hurdle winner 2019) this looks to be a potential three horse race again of the three best British stayers. I would not put anyone of him at a current 12/1 but my focus is on another horse.
On seasonal return Thyme Hill got the better of Paisley Park when travelling strongly throughout and keeping on well on good ground. They then re-opposed in the Long Walk hurdle at Ascot on heavy ground which saw Thyme Hill look the winner again only for Paisley Park to get up in the last stride to beat him.
Richard Johnson looked like he felt robbed that day. Roksana who re-opposes here stayed on well in to third that day finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind receiving 7lbs. She will be set to play her part again today with strong hold up tactics employed in a race of which she came second to If the Cap Fits in 2019.
She will be hard to keep out of the places again having come here after a third placed effort over an inadequate trip in the Mares race at Cheltenham.
Paisley Park ran in the stayers hurdle which was on soft ground set at a good gallop with front runner Flooring Porter leading from pillar to post. Paisley Park was off the bridle before they even got to the hill but it was his resolute nature that ensured he still managed to find enough to get third in the race.
A few judges stated that the horse was possibly carrying condition that day and may come on again for the run but hard to agree or disagree with not being able to attend the course. The concern with him would be that he enjoys the nature of the Cheltenham hill and that every race he puts 110% in. So coming in to this race will he be able to run to that level again after such a hard race.
The selection for me is the fresher horse in Thyme Hill who missed the engagement with a minor setback. There is little between him and the other two market leaders but he is getting good ground conditions and is the younger horse with scope to continue to improve.
I think Aintree will suit (speed favouring track) and he will be ridden prominently as opposed to the other two who will be coming from behind. I could see him travelling well throughout and just being able to gain enough of a lead that when the others get going he still has plenty in reserve to see them off.
This very similar to the achievement of Flooring Porter in the stayers hurdle at Cheltenham leaving Paisley Park with too much to do. He is rated 1lb below Paisley Park but having beaten him on good ground already this year and having more scope for improvement I will be hoping he can confirm superiority again.
13:45 Aintree – Thyme Hill (5/2 William Hill)