AINTREE – APRIL 7
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2015: £817.50 (6 favourites: 2 winners & 4 unplaced)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Aintree:
Leg 1 (1.40): 6 (Rock The World) & 5 (L'Ami Serge)
Leg 2 (2.15): 5 (Ivanovich Gorbotov) & 9 (Apple's Jade)
Leg 3 (2.50): 3 (Don Poli), 1 (Cue Card) & 7 (Saphir Du Rheu)
Leg 4 (3.25): 4 (Nichols Canyon), 6 (Annie Power) & 3 (My Tent Or Yours)
Leg 5 (4.05): 19 (On The Fringe), 4 (Current Event) & 20 (Pacha Du Polder)
Leg 6 (4.40): 7 (Workbench), 10 (Katachenko), 11 (Going Concern) & 13 (Aye Well)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
1.40: Nicky Henderson is the only represented trainer to have won this race twice over thus far, with the Seven Barrows stable represented by L'AMI SERGE on this occasion. That said, Paul Nicholls has dominated the first day of the meeting during the last five years, Paul having saddled eight winners during the period. Paul has declared BOUVREUIL, though Irish trainers threaten to follow up last year’s Gordon Elliott trained winner with ROCK THE WORLD (Jessica Harrington) and SIZING JOHN (Henry De Bromhead).
Favourite factor: The only successful favourite (via seven renewals) scored in 2013 at odds of 6/5, whilst four market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions thus far. All seven winners have scored at a top price of 11/2 to date.
2.15: Nicky Henderson's disappointing first day results in recent years were highlighted in this race last year when Nicky saddled the well beaten (4/6) market leader. Nicky tries to get back on track here with Khezerabad, though I prefer the first three horses home in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, namely IVANOVICH GORBATOV, FOOTPAD and APPLE'S JADE. There are a few negative aspects to the trio however, especially with this being a much different (faster) track than at Cheltenham, whilst we presume that all three horses were ready to run for their lives three weeks ago. There is also the point that Willie Mullins has only saddled two winners here at the entire Aintree meeting during the last five years. Consequently, I expect IVANOVICH GORBATOV to confirm the placings with the two Mullins raiders, albeit I know that Willie is bursting at the seams to saddle as many winners as possibly this week, in order to become our leading trainer this season.
Favourite factor: Favourites have won seven of the last eleven contests, with nine market leaders having secured toteplacepot positions. Eight winners during the last eleven years were returned at 13/2 or less.
2.50: With Paul Nicholls resisting the temptation of running Silviniaco Conti to attempt a hat trick in this event by preferring a Grand National bid, Paul relies on SAPHIR DU RHEU and Paul's seven-year-old course and distance winner is a worthy win and place entry from my viewpoint. That said, the race looks laid on a plate for DON POLI whose connections have every chance of compensation for his Gold Cup defeat at Cheltenham the thick end of three weeks ago. I make that point because the Willie Mullins raider will surely be better suited to this quick circuit than DJAKADAM, albeit the selection has ten lengths to make up from the Cheltenham differential. This slightly shorter trip will also help Bryan Cooper's mount. It remains to be seen if the Gold Cup fall of CUE CARD will affect his confidence but if not, Colin Tizzard's mount has to be there or thereabouts. Dynaste has had his last chance from my perspective, though I might have offered him a chance in a Grand National this week, albeit David Pipe's ten year-old could come back for the big race next year I guess, especially as three of the last four winners of the Grand National have won at eleven years of age.
Favourite factor: Just two favourites have prevailed during the last 14 years though that said, 11 winners were returned at odds of 9/1 or less. Four of the last seven favourites have finished out of the frame.
Aintree record of course winners in the third contest:
1/1--Saphir Du Rheu
3.25: I was big on the chance of last year's winner Jezki and trying to following up in similar successful fashion in what could prove to be the race of the entire week, I fancy the second string (NICHOLS CANYON) of the Willie Mullins pair could prevail at rewarding odds. The selections has the thick end of five lengths to make up on ANNIE POWER via the recent Champion Hurdle form, but I just think that this six-year-old Authorized representative has scope for further improvement and that the longer trip will play into his hands. ANNIE POWER has a perfectly decent chance obviously, though at the odds on offer, I would rather have an each way play on NICHOLS CANYON than a win bet on ANNIE POWER. The talk of the two Mullins raiders does not do justice to this contest however, with MY TENT OR YOURS and previous winner THE NEW ONE in attendance.
Favourite factor: Only four favourites have won during the last 20 years, whilst 10 of the last 19 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.
Aintree record of course winners in the fourth race:
1/2--My tent Or Yours
2/3--The New One
4.05: Luck in running is an obvious pre-requisite in this event but that said, favourites have a half decent record looking back over the last 23 years (see stats below). 11 of the last 13 winners have been aged in double figures, whereby my ‘short list’ consists of last year's winner ON THE FRINGE, CURRENT EVENT and MENDIP EXPRESS. For all the positive media attention, PACHA DU POLDER was not given a winning ride at Cheltenham no matter what the naive general public thought. The Limerick stewards (given the recent Barry Geraghty ban) would have warned Ms Pendleton off for life had the Cheltenham race been contested the other side of the Irish Sea. William Biddick replaces the media choice having ridden PACHA DU POLDER into second place behind ON THE FRINGE twelve months ago. This is my view you understand and not necessarily the thoughts of all and sundry at Geegeez.
Favourite factor: Nine favourites have won this event during the last 23 years during which time, 20 gold medallists have been returned at odds of 8/1 or less. Indeed, in a race which invariably looks difficult on paper, it's worth noting that four of the last five winners have been returned at a top price of 4/1. That said, only four of the last 12 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
Aintree record of course winners in the fifth event on the card:
1/1--On The Fringe
4.40: Nine of the last ten (and 12 of the last 14) winners carried a maximum weight of 11-1, whereby WORKBENCH, KATACHENKO and GOING CONCERN form my overnight short list. The overnight reserve nomination is awarded to AYE WELL, marginally ahead of last year's winner SURF AND TURF. It is hardly surprising that this competitive toteplacepot finale has produced eleven different winning trainers in as many years.
Favourite factor: Five market leaders have prevailed via the last 14 contests, whilst 10 of the 16 market leaders have finished in the frame during the study period. That said, five of the last eight gold medallists were returned at 33/1-25/1-20/1-20/1-16/1.
Aintree record of course winners in the toteplacepot finale:
2/4--Surf And Turf
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Aintree card on Thursday:
8--Willie Mullins (1/1 at Aintree this season)
6--Nicky Henderson (5/12)
6--Paul Nicholls (1/6)
4--Philip Hobbs (2/9)
3--Gordon Elliott (0/1)
3--Alan King (0/3)
2--Henry De Bromhead (0/1)
2--Stuart Coltherd (--)
2--Rebecca Curtis (1/6)
2--Donald McCain (0/11)
2--Dan Skelton (3/11)
2--Suzy Smith (--)
2--Nigel Twiston-Davies (3/9)
2--Lucy Wadham (--)
2--Evan Williams (0/2)
2--Venetia Williams (2/4)
+ 36 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
86 declared runners