THIS IS THE 2012 POST, 2013 tips will be posted at midnight on Thursday on the home page.
Good evening from the Major who writes with tips for the fantastic Friday Aintree card. The sheer quality of racing makes the heart skip a beat.
No joy from the three Aintree tips offered on Thursday.
To be fair, Crack Away Jack came in second at 50/1 after being highlighted as a possible improver. Pearl Mix was a non runner but Grumeti’s win was a moral victory as the form lines were tied. The other two selections fared poorly.
We need Fridays Aintree Tips to bring the Warchest for the weekend, let us review the action and see if we cannot find some opportunities to load the large cannon.
Aintree Top Novice Hurdle – 2pm
Darlan’s second in the Supreme Novices is rock solid form and to be fair, you could argue he was a little unlucky not to be the winner.
Prospect Wells was not that far behind that day but the Major is opting for a horse who finished even further behind in the Supreme… the tip is Vulcanite.
The selection is a general 10/1 shot and has been pulling very hard in his races. If he settles I think he could be a classier act than yet shown over the obstacles as he was a decent flat horse. Aintree is a flatter track, which I feel will suit his running style and help him settle as they will go quicker. Now with more experience, I think there is a reasonable case to be made that Vulcanite could come improve past them all.
2.30 Mildmay Novice Chase
I can understand why the market has priced up Champion Court as favourite. This horse likes to bowl along and on a flat track and likely granted an easy lead, he could be hard to peg back.
Silviniaco Conti has some very good tied form with Bobs Worth who was an impressive Cheltenham winner. Ruby opts to ride him too.
Neither of these market leaders are that convincing to the Major though who looks a little further down to find a golden nugget hiding away.
Join Together is the 11/2 tip (Stan James). Ruby disagrees with me having chosen Silviniaco Conti over this stablemate but I think my selection has the greater form. His last run at Cheltenham was a disappointment and I have to find a valid reason (the ground).
With a line through that run, my horse has given weight and a beating to Champion Court and has beaten subsequent Cheltenham winner Teaforthree. Have a slice.
3.05 Melling Chase
The selection here is far more simple. Finians Rainbow, a winner at Aintree last year and the reigning Champion Chaser, should have nothing to fear from this field and should be backed to the hilt at 11/8 with Stan James.
Albertas Run who has won the race in 2010, is now 11 and the newcomer looks more progressive.
The way Finians Rainbow finished up the Cheltenham hill suggested that 2m 4f around Aintree is well within reach. The main danger in the Major’s eyes is Wishfull Thinking who I remain convinced has some big races to run.
Smash it up.
Topham Chase Tips
One of the trickiest contests to resolve is Thursdays Aintree Topham chase. Tipping a winner in this is a tricky business indeed.
A couple of thoughts influence the tip, the ground is being watered and I think with a dry forecast, they are worried about it going ‘good’. I am looking for good ground sorts and hope we don’t get that dead ground that throws up such odd results.
Secondly, there is a hugely strong Topham trend towards bottom of the handicap sorts. Just one horse in the last twelve winners carried more than 11st and that was Gwanako. In fact, since the turn of the century, seven winners carried 10st 4lbs or less. To be fair, this does not rule out many as you often have a classy sort taking on unexposed players.
Peter Bowen is heavily represented again including the Topham hat-trick seeking Always Waining. He will sure be popular again and will be in the best shape for this so has to be considered even at eleven.
Little Josh is now running off the same marks that got him a Paddy Power Gold Cup. Liking to front run, conditions will suit so 11/1 Paddy Power is half decent. However, 11st 4lbs on trends will be a burden.
The selection though is harder to justify than these. Montoya’s Son has started to recover some form and the recent Newcastle show was OK. It is not unrealistic to expect further improvement and 25/1 (Paddy Power) allows some room for that. Many bookies are offering 5 places so do watch the terms.
4.15 Sefton Novices
When connections described Fingal Bay as the best they have had, the Major made a big mark in the book and left it there. 6/4 is very reasonable for a horse that has shown terrific form.
Having bypassed Cheltenham, Fingal bay turns up at Aintree fresher than many and if he has most of the form that his reputation suggests, then he should carry these before him.
For those that like a bigger price, Knock a Hand looks extremely progressive and could well take a place.
4.50 Handicap Hurdle
I have been through this card and cannot decide between two so am serving both up.
Bourne, I think, was unsuited last time and has plenty of potential left in what was a progressive profile before the festival. 9/1 is a win bet.
Like Minded is a 25/1 Paul Nicholls inmate who has not done much winning but would be closely matched with 14/1 Ataglance now on these revised terms. Harry Derham has had a high profile winner for the yard this term and is well worth his claim.
The other big price horse that I considered is 25/1 shot Saphir River who did not give a decent run on British debut and has to prove some worth out of confusing French form. It is notable though that there was a quarter of a million fee for the horse – Market support could be significant on second UK start.
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