Aintree Ladies Day Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Friday Preview

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THE Red half of Liverpool will be in good spirits this afternoon, after they scrapped past Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday evening. With 22 runners heading to post in the opening Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle (1.40) run over two and a half miles, there is going to be plenty of problems in-running.  

Likely favourite, The Saint James, is only a four-year-old, and he may lack the experience to take a hand in the finish, even with Tony McCoy in the saddle. I’m going to sell JP McManus’ beast on the Race 50 Index, and sell him in a match bet with Knight’s Parade, who looks a lurker from the powerful Gordon Elliot stable. Paul Nicholls’ Vago Collonges will be prominent in the betting when it comes to the Grade 2 E-Lites Top Novice Hurdle (2.15) run over two miles, but this beast has only won a Taunton novice hurdle this season, so I’m going to sell him on the Race Index. All his best form has come on a softer surface, so I will be against him in a match bet with the progressive Glingerburn. Owner Andy Stewart told me Saphir Du Rheu schooled very well over fences at Wincanton last Thursday, so they have decided to run him in the Mildmay Novice Chase (2.50) run over three miles and a furlong.

This 165-rated hurdler is the most talented animal in the field, so I will be buying him on the Race 50 Index. The six-year-old was second to Cole Harden in the World Hurdle on his last outing, so connections must be very confident about running him in this race, rather than the Grade 1 Hurdle here on Saturday. The race of the day is without doubt the Melling Chase (3.25) run over two and a half miles, where I will be buying Don Cossack on the Race 50 Index. Gordon Elliott’s grand sort did not get a fair lick of the sauce bottle in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last month, but he still finished third. Before that, the Gigginstown horse had won four chases on the bounce in Ireland, and he showed his liking for the course when second to Holywell in the Grade 1 novice chase at last season’s meeting. I will also be with Don Cossack in match bets with Al Ferof, Balder Succes and Cue Card. In the Topham Handicap Chase (4.05) run over two miles and six furlongs, Rajdhani Express is to the fore in the betting market, but with form figures of U4678 this season, he has to be a sell on the Race Index.

I will swerve him like a bad pint in match bets with the likes of Eastlake and Ruben Cotter. Having backed Vyta Du Rock over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham, I will have to buy Nicky Henderson’s improving sort on the Race 50 Index, when he rocks up in the Sefton Novice Hurdle (4.40) run over three miles. The six-year-old was in with every chance approaching the last at Prestbury Park, but a bad blunder at that hurdle sealed his fate. He will relish the longer trip, and the yard won the race last season with Beat That.

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