RACING fan Gaurav Chaddah (@GauravChaddah) shares his NAP, his best each-way bet and the market leader he suspects is most vulnerable on Day 2 of the Grand National Festival from Aintree on Friday.
NAP: 15:25 Aintree – Waiting Patiently (5/2 Bet365)
It’s fair to say it’s been a frustrating season for the Ruth Jefferson-trained eight-year-old who came into this season with so much promise after an impressive campaign last year.
Connections chose to keep him fresh for the King George, in which he went off as one of the favourites but was badly hampered and unseated his rider when seemingly going well.
On his second start of the season in the Ascot Chase, he saw a 17-length second by the very highly regarded Cyrname, however looked like he didn’t run to form and despite that, still had market rival Politologue (3/1 Blacktype) three lengths behind him and can hold confirm that form on Friday.
He also had Politologue in behind him last season when winning a novice chase at Haydock, and whilst the Paul Nichols-trained horse finished just over a length behind Altior in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, he has been beaten by Waiting Patiently both times they’ve met, and I think the highly thought of eight-year old can get back to winning ways.
Another danger is Min (10/3 Unibet), who is sent over from Ireland for Willie Mullins. The eight-year-old before Cheltenham had enjoyed an extremely successful season including a win in February’s Dublin chase but when expected to chase Altior home in the Champion Chase tailed off second last.
Whilst the step back up in trip should sort, he was beaten by Politologue in the race last year and may find both him and Waiting Patiently too good here.
Lay: 16:40 Aintree – Champ (11/4 Ladbrokes)
Sent off at 9/2 for the Ballymore at Cheltenham, Nicky Henderson’s seven-year old had every chance but found City Island a little too good and may find one or two to good again here.
Only two favourites have won this race from the last 12 renewals which would suggest Champ is up against it in that regard.
Champ’s victory in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury also doesn’t look the strongest of form. He had Getaway Trump behind him second, who flopped in a novice hurdle at Kelso last time and in third was Kateson, who was seventh out of nine in a novice hurdle at Haydock after.
Champ faces some extremely tough opposition here, including Dallas Des Pictons (4/1 Bet365) who Gordon Elliot has described has his best chance of the week. The six-year old is quickly improving and was just touched off in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham, when for all the world looked to be travelling all over the winner.
Like Champ, he was also second to City Island, in a two-mile maiden hurdle in December and the step back up to three miles should suit, based on his Cheltenham run and for the fact he was a winner of a three-mile handicap hurdle at the Dublin racing festival in February.
He’s not the only worry for Champ however. Warren Greatex’s Emitom (9/2 Betfair) skipped Cheltenham to come here and arrives after an extremely impressive win at Newbury last time where he carried a double penalty. In November, where was a five-length winner of a maiden hurdle ahead of rival here, Lisnagar Oscar (7/1 Bet365) who was fifth in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and could be a danger here.
Each-Way: 15:25 Aintree – Ultragold (14/1 Betfair)
I’m surprised to see this Aintree specialist at the price he is and if his record is anything to go by, it’s certainly difficult seeing him out of the places.
It’s clear that this 11-year old for Colin Tizzard simply loves Aintree and the Grand National type fences.
In four starts over the national fences, he’s failed to be outside the top three, including winning this race last year off a mark off 141, five pounds lower than his 146 here.
Whilst he’s up in weights, he should certainly give a good account again and I’d be surprised if he was out of the frame. He was third here back in December in the Becher Chase where he kept on eye-catchingly towards the end and finished second in the Sefton Chase in December 2017 when making some costly jumping errors.
He did run in the Cross-Country race at Cheltenham but was pulled up. That race was said as a prep to as whatever he runs in at Aintree and this would have always been his season target. He is a course specialist who loves these fences and looks overpriced and should get a return for each way money.