Mick Fitzgerald’s Aintree Tips:
Here we go! The next three days can be a bit of a punting minefield as you’re trying to guess which horses have not had too hard a race at Cheltenham, and juggling that with horses who come into this meeting fresh.
We kick off with a 2.5 mile novice chase. Then we have the action coming hard and fast…
13:45 – Banbridge
I am a little concerned that BANBRIGE may be very ground dependent, however, I’m happy to take a chance as it will be the first race on the ground. The selection does come with a hazard warning, though, that if the ground comes up very soft after lots of rain he will be in trouble. Stage Star was given a brilliant ride at Cheltenham if allowed to dictate matters again will be tough to pass.
14:20 – Zenta
Willie Mullins is sending a select team over this year and ZENTA travelled very well in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham finishing a good third. It could depend on the ground, the softer it is, the shorter the price Zenta should be.
14:55 – Shishkin
You could tell from very early on in the Ryanair that SHISHKIN was not happy. I watched him jumping last Thursday and some treatment seems to have helped. He jumped much better than at Cheltenham and I think the trip is fine for him. I feel the horse I saw schooling on Thursday is the real Shishkin.
Bravemansgame is a gallant performer. He did disappoint at the track last year, and that is a little worry on the back of a very hard race in the Gold Cup. A Plus Tard got hampered by the fall of sounds Russian in the Gold Cup and could still be a player in this.
Ahoy Senor loves this track and has to be respected. he may well be the value bet taking on the front two. He was still travelling when coming down in the Gold Cup, and was saved too hard a race with that fall.
His record here at this time of the year is two wins from two runs. A slight concern is the new jockey, but Brian Hughes has been champion jockey twice so he’s hardly a poor replacement. I am sticking with SHISHKIN but Ahoy Senor is a danger.
15:30 – Constitution Hill
I want to see him have his crowning glory. CONSTITUTION HILL is a long way clear of all of these, and it should be a celebration.
16:05 – Latenightpass
The selection comes here on the back of a win in a three-runner point-to-point. That was on good ground, and he’ll be much happier on slower ground. Top jockey and trainer combination gets LATENIGHTPASS the vote having won the race last year.
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16:40 – The Last Day (each-way)
I think you can forgive any horse a poor run, and the selection here got hampered early in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham. I will be happier to judge THE LAST DAY on his win in this race last year. He’s only 2lbs higher in the rating and it is set up perfectly. He’s an each-way fancy.
17:15 – Jolie Couer Allen
JOLIE COUER ALLEN got going all too late at Fontainebleau and the winner of the race that day Jesuba was very unlucky to get beaten by July Flower in a group one.
Mick Fitzgerald’s Aintree Tips:
- Horse Racing Tips: Paddy Power’s ULTIMATE Aintree Cheat Sheet for Thursday
- Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s Aintree best bets for Thursday’s action
- Ruby Walsh’s Aintree Cheat Sheet: Thursday betting tips for the Grand National Festival
- Grand National predictions: Timeform’s 3 things to watch out for at Aintree 2023