Aintree Festival 2024 - Day 2 12042024 sport preview

Aintree Festival 2024 – Day 2 12/04/2024

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Aintree Festival 2024 – Day 2 12/04/2024
  • Inothewayurthinkin

Aintree Festival 2024 – Day 2 12/04/2024

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 2

The second day of the festival looks to be a minefield for punters with four Grade 1 races combining with three ultra-competitive premier handicaps.  The day starts with the Mildmay Novices Chase run over 3m1f and it features two of the most impressive winners from the recent Cheltenham Festival.  Chianti Classico and Inothewayurthinkin both ran away with competitive handicaps at Cheltenham and consequently they are stepped up to Grade 1 level here.  It is fair to say that on reflection both horses were way ahead of their marks when striding to victory last time and they are likely to face a stiffer task here.  It is only a six runner field and all six horses have a chance however most eyes will be drawn to these two horses given the promise they showed on their most recent outings.

The Top Novices Hurdle at 2:55 features the second and third placed horses from the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham (Mystical Power and Firefox) plus a couple of potentially top class mares in Dysart Enos and Golden Ace.  When viewing the Supreme Novices Hurdle again, it is clear to see that Firefox enjoyed anything but a trouble free passage and connections are confident that he will improve on that showing.  That said he still has to reverse placings with Mystical Power and that won’t be easy with ground conditions at Aintree expected to suit the son of Annie Power.  Dysart Enos and Golden Ace appear to be the best two young mares in the UK right now and although Dysart Enos beat Golden Ace comfortably at this meeting last year, the Jeremy Scott trained mare has improved markedly since and this was evidenced by her impressive victory in the Mares Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.  The betting suggests that she may still be getting a little overlooked and if all eight declared runners go to post, she could be a solid each-way play. 

The Melling Chase at 3:30 features a field of seven top class 2m4f chasers and whilst anyone of them could win, Jonbon is easily the most fascinating contender.  His trainer believes that the 2m4f journey could see him in an even better light than the 2m that he has largely been campaigned over and this will provide the acid test of that thinking.  If the horse is fully fit and free of the bug that seems to have plagued the stable in recent weeks, then this is his chance to stake a claim to being the best in class at this intermediate distance.

The final Grade 1 on the card is the Sefton Novices Hurdle at 4:40.  The most obvious place to start is the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham where The Jukebox Man looked all over the winner until being collared in the shadows of the post by Stellar Story.  He went down by a head with 7 lengths back to the third horse Dancing City who reopposes here.  Providing the Cheltenham race hasn’t left a mark then this looks to be the best form on show.  Of the others, Shanagh Bob, Kyntara and the mare Cherie D’Am could all be suited to the stamina test and similar to the other Nicky Henderson runners at the meeting, it will be interesting to see how Shanagh Bob runs on the back of the recent challenges faced by the team at Seven Barrows. 

The remainder of the card sees three competitive handicaps taking place and as is usual The Topham Chase at 4:05 is typically competitive over one circuit of the Grand National course with last year’s winner Bill Baxter and the bang in form Shakem Up’arry heading the market as things stand.

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