Ray Flanagan with Aintree Saturday selections
thought for the day: The Grand National is not a race I have a great record in, (lol is there any race I have a decent record in) that being said I did find Papillon and Red Marauder at the turn of the millennium.
Who Dares Wins and Wilde Blue Yonder were not disgraced yesterday landing the each-way money.
An exciting days racing ahead and a few selections.
Aintree 1.45- Red Indian and No Hassle Hoff
I was really fancying Stamp Ur Feet here so it is disappointing that he not going to post. Red Indian looks a solid enough play although we are a little unsure of his suitability for 3 miles. He has been running well in a number of top handicaps this term and was not stopping in the Coral Cup.
No Hassle Hoff was dreadful at Cheltenham but the fact he went off 40-1 indicated people knew more than I did. He suffered an injury at Warwick in January and perhaps in hindsight was not fully tuned for the festival. Patchy profile all this season but remains interesting on decent form as a novice last season. Deep ground and a flat track are his main preferences and could bounce back with trainer comments encouraging.
Aintree- 3.40- Rocklander
Useful staying hurdler and only narrowly denied by Cogry over 3 miles on New Years Day 2017. Encouraging start to fences this season and ran a fine race at Cheltenham when third to Mister Whitaker having cut out most of the running. Improvement anticipated upped in trip and looks a likely one.
Aintree- 5.15- Total Recall, The Last Samurai and Ucello Conti
The concern is that Total Recall is too small a horse for this contest but he looks a strong stayer and has arguably the profile of the form horse going into the race. He reportedly jumped like an elastic band when winning the Munster National at Limerick and produced taking performances in the Hennessey at Newbury and over hurdles at Leopardstown despite pulling like a train in that hurdle race. Will need to settle better but if he does and if jumps clean I can see him winning.
The Last Samurai has performed favourably here in the past being placed in 2016 along with two Becher Chase placings. Might normally be expected to find something too classy or well weighted but the conditions will suit him better than most and is possibly the most solid each way proposition.
Connections bring huge confidence to the table regarding the chances of Ucello Conti and he has a serious chance if lasting the distance. Formerly placed in a Becher Chase, Paddy Power and Thyestes, he can be expected to jump better than two years ago on his first National experience. My only concern is stamina but has been trained specifically for the race and fits all the other profiles.
Aintree 6.20- Sternrubin and Michael’s Mount
Not a vintage renewal. Sternrubin has previously beaten better horses than he faces today, although the likelihood of a few front runners tempers confidence. Gave it a good shot though in the County Hurdle and I expect a bold front running bid.
If the leaders set it up for a closer, Michael’s Mount could be the one. He won nicely at Doncaster on debut and although soundly beaten in the Dovecote at Kempton, it is fair to say this season’s novices have been showing up well once switching to handicaps.
0.75 pts ew-Red Indian-1.45 Aintree- 8-1 bet 365- 5 places
0.5 pts ew-No Hassle Hoff-1.45 Aintree-16-1 bet 365- 5 places
1 pt ew-Rocklander-3.40 Aintree-8-1 General
1 pt win-Total Recall-5.15 Aintree-14-1 SkyBet
0.75 pts ew-Ucello Conti-5.15 Aintree-22-1 bet 365
0.75 pts ew-The Last Samurai-5.15 Aintree-25-1 bet 365
1 pt win-Sternrubin-6.20 Aintree-8-1 General
1 pt win-Michael’s Mount-6.20 Aintree-5-1 General