Aintree tips: Timeform’s best bets for every Thursday race

Timeform get us up and running for the first day of the Aintree Grand National Festival on Thursday.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

13:45 Hitman

HITMAN has developed into a smart chaser in four starts for Paul Nicholls, producing his best performance when chasing home Allmankind in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown in December. That form gives Hitman a bit to find with Fusil Raffles on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, but he has scope for more improvement, still only a five-year-old after all. This looks a good opportunity for him to open his account at the top level after a confidence-boosting success at Newbury last month (beat two inferior rivals at odds of 7/1-on).

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14:20 Monmiral

MONMIRAL made it four from four over hurdles with an impressive victory at Haydock last time. He jumped fluently and readily drew clear from two out to land the spoils by seven and a half lengths from Nassalam, dishing out a much more comprehensive beating to that rival than Adagio had when winning the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow the previous month. The form Monmiral showed at Haydock would be good enough to win a typical renewal of this Grade 1, while the small ‘p’ attached to his Timeform rating denotes that he remains with potential. He is very hard to oppose.

14:50 Waiting Patiently

WAITING PATIENTLY is on a losing run stretching back to February 2018, but he has made only six starts since then and showed that he is still capable of top-class form after 13 months off when second in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. He arguably shaped even better than the bare result at Kempton, finding himself poorly placed (held up in a steadily-run race) and doing well under the circumstances to be beaten only two and a quarter lengths. That form reads well in the context of this race, so he is well worth a chance to bounce back from a below-par effort at Ascot last time now faced with more suitable conditions.

15:25 Brewin’upastorm

BREWIN’UPASTORM has resumed his progress back over hurdles recently after a couple of underwhelming efforts over fences earlier this season. He easily defied top weight in a handicap at Taunton in January and then took the step up in grade in his stride to follow up in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell last time, winning by five and a half lengths from McFabulous. That rival is 6 lb better off at the weights here, but Brewin’Upastorm is clearly thriving at present and could be the way to go with further progress not out of the question.

16:05 Cat Tiger

CAT TIGER ran out a comfortable winner on his most recent outing at Leicester, beating Tango de Juilley by a length and a half on his first start for 12 months (had a breathing operation during that time). Cat Tiger jumped soundly on that occasion and has seemingly been targeted this race, missing Cheltenham to come straight here. Still only a seven-year-old, he may yet have more to offer (formerly smart in France) and looks capable of taking high rank in this division.

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16:40 Getaway Trump

GETAWAY TRUMP showed smart form to resume winning ways at Doncaster last month, easily defying a BHA mark of 140 on his handicap debut over fences. He travelled strongly just behind the leaders and quickly drew clear on the run-in to win by six and a half lengths, with the drop back to two miles on good ground seemingly bringing out the best in him. This won’t be easy after a 9 lb hike in the weights, but Getaway Trump has previously won a handicap hurdle from a BHA mark of 147, only 2 lb lower than he is here. This race looks tailormade for his style of racing, so it will be no surprise to see him go close again.

17:15 Eileendover

EILEENDOVER could hardly have been more impressive when maintaining her unbeaten record in a listed mares’ bumper at Market Rasen in January, once again showing an impressive turn of foot to land the spoils by six and a half lengths. The third Grangee has since won a Grade 2 mares’ event at Leopardstown, so there is plenty of substance to the form. An exceptional bumper mare, Eileendover comfortably sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and is fancied to take the step up in grade in her stride to extend her winning sequence to four.

Timeform’s Aintree tips on Thursday

13:45 Hitman
14:20 Monmiral
14:50 Waiting Patiently
15:25 Brewin’upastorm
16:05 Cat Tiger
16:40 Getaway Trump
17:15 Eileendover

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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