Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 7 fancies for Aintree on Thursday

It's day one of the three-day fiesta and Mick Fitzgerald marks your card.


*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

We come under orders on Thursday with the three-day Grand National bonanza and the opening day is a belter with a few Cheltenham winners (and losers!) trying to gain compensation. But there’s also some who deliberately missed Cheltenham in favour of this meeting and arrive here fresh and raring to go. 

13:45 – Millers Bank

The Alex Hales’ trained runner was only a length behind Pic D’Orhy at Kempton. If jockey Kielan Woods can get him jumping slicker over his fences, Millers Bank is definitely a value bet in a very tight betting market. He was third in the Aintree hurdle behind Buzz and Abacadabras last year and that is top-notch form if he can reproduce it over fences.


14:20 – Pied Piper

PIED PIPER ran a really good race in the Triumph Hurdle when third to the very smart Vauban at Cheltenham. He will love this track. The biggest danger is the JP McManus owned Brazil, who won the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at the Festival, the Gordon Elliott-trained runner ticks all the boxes.

14:55 – Protektorat

PROTEKTORAT ran a fantastic race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup finishing a good – if distant – third to A Plus Tard. There wasn’t much between the placed horses but the winner was in a league of his own. Partly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ptotektorat won very nicely at the track earlier this season, so that’s a big positive. Irish challenger Conflated is the biggest danger. He’s been called a few names in the past but was running a big race behind Allaho in the Ryanair Chase when falling at the second last. He won the Grade One Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown easily in December and the others behind him that day all ran well at the Festival. 

15:30 – Epatante

This JP McManus owned mare roared back to form this season when second in the Champion Hurdle to the mighty Honeysuckle, with Zanahiyr behind. It is a quick turnaround but EPATANTE has backed up good runs. Zanayhir deserves a mention as he ran a career best in the Champion Hurdle and has looked like a stayer, so this 2m 4f trip should really suit. Monmiral looked badly in need of the run at Fontwell so should strip fitter now while Brewin’upastorm has been saved for this race. He wears first-time cheekpieces too and that could help him improve.



Fans at Aintree for the Grand National


16:05 – Latenightpass

Jett flew around for a circuit In last year’s Grand National and seemed to really enjoy these fences. He won at Kelso earlier this year, but was surprisingly beaten at Fontwell by Shantou Flyer over 3m 2f last time. The one that I like is last year‘s second, LATENIGHTPASS. Ridden by Gina Andrews who rides again, Latenightpass ran a super race and was only denied by eventual winner Cousin Pascal getting a dream run up the inside. If Cousin Pascal had to go around the others, Latenightpass might have won. He has had a wind operation and won his prep race in a point-to-point at Charm Park. 

16:40 – The Last Day (each-way)

Cheltenham Grand Annual Chase winner Global Citizen should run well at a track that suits his front-running. attacking style. He was once thought of as a Champion Hurdle contender. Global Citizen is a little higher in the weights now but will still give a good account. THE LAST DAY for Evan Williams appeals to me at a price. He’s a course winner and is lightly-raced and jockey Adam Wedge, is a very smart performer. The Last Day looked like he was going to win at Haydock in  January, when coming down at the last. He looks fairly weighted and is a strong traveler in his races which you need as they are bound to go quickly.

I can see The Last Day arriving two fences out with a big chance and let’s see what happens after that.

17:15 – Naughtinesse

NAUGHTINESSE is quite well related on breeding and won very nicely at Fairyhouse last time. Her brother Debece was placed in a Grade One at this venue a few years ago. Kateira was also impressive coming from the back of the field at Huntingdon and is another for the short-list. 

Aintree betting tips:

*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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