YESTERDAY: EQUINOX AGAIN: World-ranked No 1, Equinox scored a fifth straight Grade-1 win at Tokyo. Godolphin had their best juveniles strike against Ballydoyle when taking the Futurity at Doncaster with Ancient Wisdom.
TODAY: AINTREE’S KINGPIN: Cheltenham was back with further proof if it was needed of Irish domination and the combined skills of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. Aintree returns today with the Old Roan Chase and a possible 12.5 hit for the local kingpin yard of Donald McCain.
TOMORROW: BREEDERS CUP: Look out for Daqman’s countdown on the Breeders Cup (Friday and Saturday)
BOLD 10.0 BET ON BETDAQ
⭕ 1.25 Aintree (Veterans Chase, 3m class 2) Ten-year-olds have a huge advantage in veterans chases, particularly those lightly raced. They have an 80% strike rate in this one.
No, not because they have the majority of runners, as today. Their last two strikes in this have come with around a 50:50 balance with the older horses in the race.
Wishing And Hoping has been winner and second in the last two runnings and won the January final of the series.
But that January result is misleading and supports my point; no 10-year-olds took part.
He is 13 now (14 in a few weeks’ time) and I wish him well; the figures say he is pounds clear of the field.
Jimmy The Digger won a race for amateur jockeys at this meeting last year under Alice Stevens – still claiming 7lb – and his stable has scored twice in the last few days.
Duc de Beauchene won the Norfolk National in the Spring: David Pipe’s yard is in form but the Duc has a modest record after the summer break.
Christian Williams is out of form, which puts me off Cap Du Nord, though he has a huge pull with Landofsmiles, also on Spring form.
Boldmere (BETDAQ 10.0) is 121 since moving to veterans’ chases and his main rival may be Jimmy The Digger (offered at 5.7 this morning).
DRAMA CAN STAGE 12.5 HIT
⭕ 2.00 Aintree (Old Roan Chase, 2m 4f Grade 2) You know winter’s almost here when they line up for the Old Roan, which has created young stars for the season ahead with winners of the calibre of Allmankind (2021 aged 5) and Frodon (2018 aged 6).
But this year best of the youngest in a four-year-olds and older chase, worth almost £46k to the winner, is the Paul Nicholls seven-year-old Hitman.
Hitman is hard to place, scoring three times in three years in very small fields, beating just six finishers!
Paul Nicholls had eight runners at Cheltenham and I sided with one of the losers. I also got the wrong side of Henry de Bromhead, going for his losing outsider on Friday which put me off his 14-1 winner yesterday, sick to lose my six-day sequence of strikes.
That’s how it goes at the start of the season proper. Dan Skelton today seemingly has a good chance with My Drogo.
Two wins from six favourites in the last week is not bad but overall those two wins came from 15 runners, and My Drogo has been absent 687 days.
Tommys Oscar hasn’t run over 2m 4f since scoring over hurdles two years ago. Jamie Snowden (Datsalrightgino) has had 15 runners without success.
Compare with Lucinda Russell who has had seven strikes in the same time period and could revive once-prolific Do Your Job after his wind op.
My fancy is Minella Drama (3-3 in handicaps) for the McCain stable with a great tradition at Aintree. Nine placed in the last 12 days.
Minella Drama has won after the break before, ran third in a Grade 1 here in April and is solid in chases (eight out of 10 placed, four of them wins).
Betdaq Betting Exchange 12.5 Minella Drama
JUST THE JOB FOR METIER
⭕ 2.50 Longchamp (Prix Royal Oak, 1m 7.5f, Group 1; heavy) England won three years running (2020-22) with three-year-olds, who are 5-8 since 2015.
Second-season horses are represented today solely by Double Major, who’s been out of the first three just the once: 31412221.
Maxime Guyon’s mount won the Group-2 Chaudenay here at Longchamp the last day, over a trip just short of the CD.
Brian Ellison’s raider, Tashkhan, third in the Cesarewitch, was also third in the Cadran (French Gold Cup) here last season, so may need further than this, albeit the heavy ground will slow them down.
Novel Legend (James Fanshawe) has shown steady improvement, up 13lb this year, and the stable has hit form with five winners in the last six days?
Metier is the hidden horse. Came back on heavy ground last November after a 245-day holiday and won the November Handicap.
He’s had another 170-day break since taking the Chester Cup in May and Harry Fry has booked Saffie Osborne for this tilt at this £177k prize.
BETDAQ value 4.9 Double Major, 7.6 Metier, 17 Novel Legend
1.25 Aintree (win 20)
BET 4.25pts win JIMMY THE DIGGER
BET 2pts win and place BOLDMERE
2.00 Aintree (win-50 bull’s-eye nap)
BET 4.25pts win and place MINELLA DRAMA
2.50 Longchamp (win 50 bull’s-eye bets)
BET 7.5pts win METIER
BET 3pts win and place NOVEL LEGEND
BET 3.25pts win (stakes saver) DOUBLE MAJOR
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