Sam Turner guides you through the live Channel 4 action on day one of Aintree.
Ivanovich Gorbatov was well positioned to overhaul the cleverly-ridden Apple’s Jade in the Triumph (Sceau Royal 12th) and should find the track and ground to his liking. Footpad was set a stiff task at Cheltenham before running on into third and should finish closer to his adversaries this time.
DIEGO DU CHARMIL (Best price 11-1) narrowly held off stablemate Romain De Senam at the festival (Double Clever a creditable fifth) and although some felt he was fortunate to win, he should improve for the outing. He could be some value to give his trainer a third win in the last six renewals.
It would be remiss not to throw a small bet at ROMAIN DE SENAM (Best price 20-1) at a big price given the margin of defeat at Cheltenham was negligible.
DJAKADAM (Best price 11-4) went on to finish runner-up that day which was another fine effort given he had undergone a far from perfect preparation following a fall on Trials Day.
Stablemate Don Poli, a winner here at the expense of National favourite Many Clouds earlier in the season, was a never nearer third in the Gold Cup, but has at least proven this track suits and is difficult to write off. Of those at bigger prices, Taquin Du Seuil wasn’t disgraced behind Vautour in the Ryanair and could outrun his price.
ANNIE POWER is arguably the star attraction on the opening day of the National meeting. The Champion Hurdle heroine will be a short price to follow up in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle, but her claims appear irresistible given today’s main adversaries appear to be the likes of My Tent Or Yours and stablemate Nichols Canyon, both of whom she soundly beat at Cheltenham three weeks ago.This afternoon’s distance is arguably more suitable to her than Prestbury Park runner-up My Tent Or Yours who can race keenly and is having a second run back following a prolonged absence.
The extra furlongs may well help Nichols Canyon finish closer and recent evidence suggests The New One, who has won and finished runner-up in this event, needs all of today’s trip and more these days. Given THE NEW ONE (Best price 7-2) has plenty of previous at this fixture, he could be some value to chase home his classy female rival.
Will Biddick replaces Victoria Pendleton on Pacha Du Polder who was also second in this event 12 months ago and should go well again, while Major Malarkey (4th last year) should give a good account front the front with this yard in excellent form.
However in an open race like this I would rather take a chance to small money at a price and
SURF AND TURF (Best price 28-1) and PEARLS LEGEND (Best price 14-1), winner and third in this event 12 months ago, could outrun their odds. The former is 2-4 at this venue and narrowly gains the nod providing the ground doesn’t deteriorate markedly.