Aintree Festival 2024 - Day 1 11042024 sport preview

Aintree Festival 2024 – Day 1 11/04/2024

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Aintree Festival 2024 11/04/2024
  • Grey Dawning 
  • Bob Olinger       

Aintree Festival 2024 – Day 1 11/04/2024

The Aintree 2024 Grand National Festival will start off on ground that will be very testing across all courses (Grand National and Mildmay).  The Merseyside venue has seen plenty of rain over the past 10-14 days and it is likely that stamina will be at a premium across the three days of the festival.

Day 1

Day 1 kicks off with the Close Brothers Manifesto Novices Chase over just short of 2m4f and the Dan Skelton trained Grey Dawning is likely to be all the rage.  A very good winner of the Turners Novices Chase at Cheltenham where he beat the reopposing Ginny’s Destiny by 2 lengths, he will be a warm order to follow up here under conditions that will prove no problem for the son of Flemensfirth.  If there is a threat to him, then it could well be in the form of Il Etait Temps.  The Willie Mullins trained gelding is a proven Grade 1 performer who is likely to benefit from a step up in trip following his staying on third place finish in the Arkle at Cheltenham.

The Boodles Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle sees the return of Sir Gino.  A strong antepost favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, he was withdrawn from the race due to the fact that his stable was under a cloud at that time.  In his two runs this season, he has looked to be the best juvenile hurdler in the UK and Ireland and he has the chance to prove it here.  However it won’t be easy as he faces strong opposition and the question for punters is simple; can you back him given the recent form of the stable?

The William Hill Bowl at 2:55 is the Aintree version of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and it sees the Gold Cup runner-up Gerri Colombe at the head of the market.  The Gordon Elliott trained chaser put up a huge performance to chase home Galopins Des Champs at Cheltenham and provided that particular race has not left a mark, he has every chance of going one better here on ground that will hold no fears.  Similar to the 4-Y-O hurdle earlier on the card, Nicky Henderson provides a conundrum in the form of the top class Shishkin.  The winner of this race last year and the highest rated horse in the race, if he is fit and well then he will be right in the mix.  Add to that mix a number of other proven top class chasers plus a fascinating novice in the form of Corbetts Cross who will relish the testing conditions and we have a race to savour.

The fourth Grade 1 race on the cards takes place at 3:30 and the William Hill Aintree Hurdle pits two horses against eachother who both sidestepped Cheltenham for this race.  Bob Olinger and Impaire Et Passe dominate the top of the market and a ready preference is stated for Bob Olinger who has looked back to somewhere near the horse he was in his novice days.  He should relish the track, trip and ground in a bid to add this Grade 1 to his three previous victories at this level.

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