Post racing update: a mixed day and I must now accept that Bristol De Mai is not the horse I thought he was, although his second place did get us a small profit. Grand Vision fell, Diakali carted his rider, who did the right thing in not fighting with him. Hard to believe that given the ease with which We Have A Dream won, allied to his strength in the market, they bothered bringing the disappointing Beau Gosse from France. Anyway, Bentelimar scooted home in fine fashion, helping ensure a £7.10 profit on the day. We go into Friday carrying a deficit to £1 stakes of £24.22
Another Grand National meeting rolls around, extending what is already a long path for me back through the years. My first vivid memory of Aintree was when I was out with my father one afternoon. We met a friend of his who set about describing with considerable drama how a rank outsider, Foinavon, had just won the Grand National.
More than fifty years have passed since then, five of which I spent working at Aintree in the mid 1990s. The meeting always brings excitement as well as memories for me and I hope I can tip and back some winners.
Let’s get started.
Given that she never settled in the Triumph Hurdle, Apple’s Shakira did remarkably well to finish 4th in the race having taken so much out of herself, and, at first glance, I thought she’d be my automatic pick for this. But the race also features her stablemate, We Have A Dream, unbeaten in four races in the UK and in the formidable ownership if Munir and Souede, who have some top notch animals.
Trainer Nicky Henderson is on record as saying he wouldn’t like to choose between these two (although Nicky often says ‘more than his prayers’, to quote an old Irish phrase). What struck me when looking through the field is that another Munir Souede horse comes from France to run here – Beau Gosse. He’s 18/1 while Apple’s Shakira and We Have A Dream dispute favouritism at around 2/1.
Reportedly the owners’ retained jockey was ‘given the choice’ and picked we Have A Dream. But why even mention he’d be given the choice when it would seem a no-brainer? Why go to the trouble of bringing the horse across the channel? The trainer of Beau Gosse, Macaire, is no fool, and top NH jockey in France, James Revelely comes over to ride in preference to going to Autueil. Macaire has no further entries at Aintree that I can see.
Beau Gosse ran at Kempton last time when a well beaten third to Redicean. Connections believe the good ground was against him that day.
All in all, I’d much sooner take the chance that Beau Gosse will spring a surprise at big odds than tip one of the shorties and I make him an each way bet.
Beau Gosse EW 18/1 (Betfair Sporstbook)
Short and sweet as I think Bristol De Mai has a good chance of winning this. I explain why in this post, sent on Tuesday to those who subscribe to this blog.
Bristol De Mai EW at 11/2 (Betfair, Paddy Power and Unibet)
Having tipped him for the Stayer’s Hurdle last time, I thought I’d be doing so again with The New One here, but an outsider makes greater appeal. Diakali’s had more than his share of training troubles, eventually leaving the care of Willie Mullins in January in a transfer to Gary Moore.
This will be his first appearance for the yard and his first time on a racecourse for almost a year. But his sole Aintree outing was in this race in 2014 when he failed by just a nose and a head to get to The New One and Rock On Ruby. He’s reported to be sparkling at home and at the price I’m happy to take an EW chance.
Diakali EW 28/1 (Betfair)
It’s always good to watch any race over the Grand National fences, and the amateur riders get their first chance of glory here over 2m 5f. Most of these runners are a fair age. I quite like the youngster Sir Jack Yeats, who’s just 7, but his jumping style suggests to me that he might not take to these fences. I’ll bypass him in favour of Grand Vision, ridden by the superb Jamie Codd.
Grand Vision 9/2 (Unibet)
Bentelimar is a hard horse to win with, but he’s been running well over about half a mile farther recently. His last run at Kempton saw him fade rather tamely having travelled well. That was after almost two months off and he should be sharper for it. The drop in trip here should help and first time cheekpieces are tried.
Bentelimar 12/1 (Boylesports)
I’ll be having £1 stakes as appropriate (EW where mentioned) on the above and suggest you do the same. We ought to take advantage of the three places on offer and back Bristol De Mai and Diakali in an EW double to £1 stakes with Betfair Sportsbook.
Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile. I’ll update the profit and loss for TV Tips after racing. Going into today, we are running at a loss of £31.32 to £1 stakes.