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Grand National Meeting Day 1 Tips Including Thursday Picks For The Aintree Hurdle And Betway Bowl

Wednesday 3rd April 2019
Bristol De Mai Is Heading To The Betway Bowl On Thursday At Aintree
Bristol De Mai Is Heading To The Betway Bowl On Thursday At Aintree

Day 1 of the Aintree Festival is upon us and Steve Ryder is here to give you a selection for every race on the day.

1:45 Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase

Following the absence of Defi Du Seuil from declarations, La Bague Au Roi is now a short priced favourite for the race. She faces two non finishers from the Arkle in Glen Forsa and Kalashnikov but should be extremely hard to beat in receipt of 5lb from her rivals. La Bague Au Roi is 14-19 under rules including four victories in chases this season where she has regularly beaten the geldings.

She put in the best performance of her career when she won the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton beating Topofthegame and Santini before coping with the drop back down in trip to win the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February. Connections took the bold move to skip Cheltenham and hopefully they will be rewarded with a victory for La Bague Au Roi in this race.

2:20 Doom Bar Anniversary Juvenile Hurdle

This race sees the form of the Triumph Hurdle and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle from the Cheltenham Festival tested against each other. Pentland Hills was an impressive winner of the Triumph Hurdle on only his second start over hurdles despite making a bad mistake at the first hurdle. He is contesting favouritism with Band Of Outlaws who is 3-4 over hurdles and is only rated 4lb inferior to Pentland Hills. Preference though goes to the proven Grade 1 form and hopefully Pentland Hills can make it 3-3 over hurdles.

2:50 Betway Bowl Chase

Bristol De Mai was my big priced selection for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and he ran a fantastic race to finish 3rd at the finish. Rounding the turn he looked sure to fight out the finish with Al Boum Photo but Bristol De Mai just weakened late on over the extra 2f up the hill to finish 3rd. Back on a flat track over 3 miles where he has showed his best form looks sure to suit and hopefully he can go one better than last year in this race.

3:25 Aintree Hurdle

This looks a strong renewal of this race but many of the runners have question marks surrounding them. Buveur D’Air has to bounce back from a fall in the Champion Hurdle and Melon has to prove that he can produce his best form away from the test of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Faugheen ran well for a long way in the Stayers Hurdle but didn’t look the force of old and Supasundae was ultimately disappointing in the same race where he faded into 7th.

With question marks around many at the top of the market a small chance is taken on Ch’tibello to cope with the step up from handicap company into this Grade 1. He was impressive in winning the County Hurdle at Cheltenham on his last start and could run into a place.

Thursday 4th April @ 15:25 Result
Aintree Hurdle 2019
Ch'tibello (EW)
Odds correct as of Wednesday 3rd April 14:26

4:05 Randox Health Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase

It seems very significant that connections of Asockastar have acquired the services of Patrick Mullins for this race who is currently available at 66/1 and 50/1 for this race. He won well on his reappearance this season at Leicester when he turned over the odds on favourite Just Cause before finishing 8th at Cheltenham despite blundering at the 10th fence. He struggled to get involved after that error and if he could jump better in this race then he could hit the frame at a huge price under the Champion Amateur Rider.

Thursday 4th April @ 16:05
Aintree Foxhunters 2019
Asockastar (EW)
Odds correct as of Wednesday 3rd April 14:28

4:40 Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase

Theinval has run well in this race for the last two years finishing 2nd both times off marks of 144 and 141. Last year the race was on soft ground which wouldn’t have suited him so hopefully he can go one better this year. At around 10/1 he looks a fantastic each way bet.

5:15 Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open National Flat Race

At the time of writing there is no betting available on this race but I would expect Minella Melody to be towards the head of the market. She won an Irish PTP in December by 10 lengths before winning impressively on her debut for new connections at Gowran Park by 12 lengths. Patrick Mullins retains the partnership with Minella Melody in this race and she should prove hard to beat. 

Thursday 4th April @ 17:15
Aintree Mares Flat
Minella Melody
Odds correct as of Wednesday 3rd April 14:31
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