Friday at the Grand National - The Gambling Times
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Friday at the Grand National

We have a preview of every race from the Grand National Festival, and the second day from Aintree is the famed Ladies Day.

It is another packed card, opening up with three Grade One clashes and prize money well in excess of £500,000.

Some of National Hunts big names will be on show with River Wylde and Might Bite going for glory.

We have a run through of each race with BoyleSport’s Leon Blanche and our newest racing expert ‘The Duke’ – Jon Ivan-Duke.


1.40pm Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) HC 2m 4f £70,000

The Field: Thomas Campbell (9) North Hill Harvey (11) Ice Cold Soul (12) Rather Be (12) Dream Berry (14) Geordie Des Champs (14) Byron Flyer (16) Sumkindofking (16) Dashing Oscar (18) Hawk High (18) A Hare Breath (22) Clondaw Kaempfer (22) Mad Jack Mytton (22) Crystal Lad (25) Runswick Royal (25) Zubayr (25) Allee Bleue (28) Bigmartre (28) Craggaknock (28) Sky Khan (28) Crievehill (33) Nautical Nitwit (40)
The Duke says:  A competitive handicap hurdle to kick things off on Day 2 at Aintree. North Hill Harvey remains with potential for better after a disappointing show at Cheltenham.
The Bookie says:  Noel Meades Ice Cold Soul is am improving horse and was a winner last time on good ground. Its a very open contest but at 12/1 he is a cracking each way bet.

2.20pm Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 2m ½f £100,000

The Field: River Wylde (5/2) Mount Mews (3) Moon Racer (10/3) High Secret (14) The Unit (14) Chti Balko (16) Pingshou (28) Bulkov (50) American Gigolo (80)
The Duke says: River Wylde ran a big race to finish third in the Supreme and he looks an interesting option in the second race on the card. Trevor Hemmings loves an Aintree winner and his Mount Mews has a strong chance. He might be a bit more refreshed than some, having bypassed Cheltenham. Moon Racer is the class act and despite disappointingly being pulled up in the Champion Hurdle, if he’s on song he will take some beating.
The Bookie says: River Wylde ran a blinder in the Supreme, but he does have to beat Moon Racer but on his last race you have to be wary of and I think Mount Mews is very much on the improve for Malcolm Jefferson and I think he could be the bet of the race.

2.50pm Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) MC 3m 1f £100,000

The Field: Might Bite (11/18) Whisper (11/4) Marinero (16) Virgilio (22) Calett Mad (28)
The Duke says: The Mildmay Novices’ Chase is really tough. The RSA Chase form is key, with Might Bite and Whisper locking horns again. Might Bite wandered all over the shop up the run in and nearly got pipped. If he starts lugging to one side in this in the closing stages he could get nabbed.
The Bookie says: Might Bite is rightly so a short price, no matter happened at the last in the RSA – he jumped that field in submission and then had enough class to comeback and win, he has a quirk in him but he is ultra talented.

3.25pm JLT Melling Chase (Grade 1) MC 2m 4f £200,000

The Field: Fox Norton (10/3) God’s Own (7/2) Sub Lieutenant (7/2) Uxizandre (8) Josses Hill (12) Kylemore Lough (12) Traffic Fluide (20) Royal Regatta (25) Top Gamble (25)
The Duke says: The Melling Chase up next and this is a chance for a couple of horses without a Grade 1 on their CV of picking up a top level prize. Sub Lieutenant was second in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival and Fox Norton was second in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Neither of the pair have won at the highest level but one horse who has is God’s Own (three times in fact). He was running a massive race in the Queen Mother Champion Chase when ploughing through a fence in the closing stages. I think he might have won without that mistake.
The Bookie says: Fox Norton ran a blinder to be second in the Queen Mother and anyone who watched that race knows he was doing his best work at the end, so step up in trip will not be a concern and Gods Own was running a huge race before he made a mistake at Cheltenham last time out and Sub Lieutenant ran so well behind Un De Sceaux and this could be a real cracker but I would just go for Fox Norton.

4.05pm Randox Health Topham Chase (Grade 3) GNC 2m 5f £120,000

The Field: Go Conquer (9) Gold Present (10) Seefood (10) As De Mee (11) Bouvreuil (12) Henryville (12) Eastlake (16) Thomas Brown (16) O O Seven (20) Mr Diablo (22) Third Intention (22) Clarcam (25) Katnap (25) Vintage Vinnie (25) Irish Cavalier (28) Alelchi Inois (33) Ballykan (33) Quite By Chance (33) Bright New Dawn (40) Katachenko (40) Straidnahanna (40) Ultragold (50) Gowanauthat (66) Imjoeking (66) Long Lunch (66) Portrait King (66) Thomond (66) Solar Impulse (80) Father Edward (100) Peckhamecho (100)
The Duke says: The Topham Handicap Chase is usually a good race to watch. Seefood races for a trainer who is a master with horses over these fences, he ran a very decent second at Aintree back in December and rates the each way pick.
The Bookie says: I would say be careful in this one, but Seefood is very much one I would look at – and I would very much go each way on him here.

4.40pm Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) HC 3m ½f £100,000

The Field: The Worlds End (5/2) Constantine Bay (3) West Approach (5) Keeper Hill (14) Beyond Conceit (16) Moulin A Vent (16) Ballymalin (20) Debece (20) Get On The Yager (20) Testify (20) Monbeg Charmer (25) Elegant Escape (66)
The Duke says: The penultimate race could go the way of The Worlds End who has potential improvement in him. Constantine Bay was 4th in the Albert Bartlett and could be the biggest danger for Nicky Henderson.
The Bookie says: The Worlds End is a short price – a faller at Cheltenham, he was upside when he went down so he probably would have been placed so he probably is worthy favourite here.

5.15pm Weatherbys Champion SO NH Flat (Grade 2) FL 2m 1f £45,000

The Field: Claimantakinforgan (4) Western Ryder (4) Black Op (5) If The Cap Fits (13/2) Larry (16) Niceandeasy (16) Loud And Clear (20) Run To Milan (20) Tikkanbar (20) Lalor (22)
And The New (25) Carlos Du Fruitier (25) Clondaw Castle (25) Bombers Moon (33) Enniscoffey Oscar (33) King Of Realms (33) Sea Sovereign (40) Some Reign (40) Point Of Principle (50) Amateur (66)
The Duke says: The bumper is typically difficult so watch any notable market moves. Run To Milan won at Wincanton on debut and caught the eye, so he looks each way value. If The Cap Fits has good claims as well in his hat-trick attempt.
The Bookie says: This is normally a very competitive and Western Ryder, he was staying on in the last furlong at Cheltenham and that is a much tougher ask than Aintree, but one who is unexposed and who could run well for Harry Fry is If The Cap Fits.


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