FORTUNE COOKIES’ GRAND NATIONAL SQUAD It’s tight at the top of the Grand National weights with five horses within a pound of each other. Daqman lists the top 10 in the special handicap for Aintree, alongside their current official rating. Fortune Cookies appear three times among the highflyers with big weights but also have two hoping to get in at the foot of the handicap.
A WINNER IN THE WIND: Windtothelightning (WON 5-2) kept Daqman on target yesterday. Today he has one tip at each of Doncaster, Newcastle and Ludlow.
NOBLE YEATS’ TIGER-ROLL TASK
⭕ 5.15 GRAND NATIONAL Chase, 4m 2f 74 yards, Aintree, April 15
IF yesterday’s top 40 in the Grand National weights stood their ground, there would be only 11 British runners in the race.
And senior handicapper Martin Greenwood’s forecast for the final field on the day is the same: only a quarter of the runners will be British. Ireland can expect a 1-2-3 result for the fourth year running.
Any Second Now, last year’s runner-up who had been third the previous year, is lofted 7lb higher than his current rating of 160. Hence 167<160 in the top 15 below.
But he is 11lb better off with the winner last year, Noble Yeats. The pair were 20 lengths clear of a 160 horse in third, so the handicapper was forced to give Noble Yeats a very tough task of doing the double off a 19lb higher mark.
He needs to be a Tiger Roll or a Red Rum and is among a contingent of top rated for Aintree who are all doubtful, as entries in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
They are: Capodanno, Conflated, Envoi Allen, Franco De Port, Fury Road, Galvin, Hewick, Noble Yeats and Royal Pagaille.
167<160 Any Second Now (Ted Walsh) 11st 12lb
167<168 Conflated (Gordon Elliott) 11st 12lb
167=167 Hewick (John Joseph Hanlon) 11st 12lb FORTUNE COOKIE
166<167 Noble Yeats (Emmet Mullins) 11st 11lb FORTUNE COOKIE
166<165 Galvin (Gordon Elliott) 11st 11lb
163=163 Envoi Allen (Henry de Bromhead) 11st 8lb
163=163 Royal Pagaille (Venetia Williams) 11st 8lb FORTUNE COOKIE
161=161 Fury Road (Gordon Elliott) 11st 6lb
160=160 Capodanno (Willie Mullins) 11st 5lb
160<158 The Big Dog (Peter Fahey) 11st 5lb
Those depressed in the weights by the concentration of quality at the top of the handicap are two more Fortune Cookies.
146=146 Corach Rambler (Lucinda Russell) 10st 5lb FORTUNE COOKIE
144=144 Ashtown Lad (Dan Skelton) 10st 3lb FORTUNE COOKIE
* The news that preceded the weights lunch was the retirement of the 2021 winner, Minella Times. We now also know that Bristol De Mai, who pulled up in that National, was running his last race in the Haydock trial on Saturday.
FIDUX HANDY RETURN TO FENCES
⭕ 3.00 Doncaster Fidux, who has been hurdling recently, has dropped a stone down the handicap over fences, since winning twice on good ground in 2020-21.
Didero Vallis, who is also down the handicap, was Kim Muir third last March but last won two years ago on heavy.
Fagan has won once (on heavy) since 2017, and The Kings Writ is another soft-heavy winner.
Boldmere is a CD winner but has been struggling since he won here that day in 2019.
Betdaq Betting Exchange 4.4 Fidux
POCKLEY PLACED 10 TIMES HERE
⭕ 3.20 Newcastle Since October 2020 between 5f and 7f, Pockley has Newcastle form of 1213212132, with his most recent strike coming under today’s jockey, Franny Norton.
He improved out of his usual territory in class 4 and 5 to score in today’s class-3 grade under Norton in December.
The Bell Conductor is still high in the handicap after a hat-trick completed here last September, following back-to-back success at Southwell.
Emperor Spirit has his first run for a new yard and first over the minimum trip, after 13 defeats over 6f since winning first time for Archie Watson.
Mayson is still 10lb lower than his mark in February and may be able to follow up his Southwell strike the last day.
BETDAQ value 4.6 May Sonic, 5.2 Pockley
KING CAN WIN PRINCE’S CHASE
⭕ 3.45 Ludlow One True King plummets from Graded events to this class 3 and could return to form in this lesser company for the Prince Of Wales’ Amateur Jockeys’ Chase.
Volcano has won four chases at Warwick since scoring here at Ludlow off a stone lower in November, 2020.
Seigneur Des As remains a maiden but could improve on his narrow defeat in novice company at Lingfield the last day, after a wind op.
A Gordon Elliott cast-off, The Big Lense went FPPP until returning to hurdles last summer and I wouldn’t read too much into his latest second over fences. His 100-1 SP suggests there were no expectations.
BETDAQ value 4.8 One True King
3.00 Doncaster (win 10)
BET 3pts win FIDUX
3.20 Newcastle (win 10 each)
BET 2.75pts win MAY SONIC
BET 2.4pts win POCKLEY
3.45 Ludlow (win 12, nap)
BET 3pts win ONE TRUE KING
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