Set the bookies an Aintree Trap

Steve Hughes has two bets for Friday

York’s Dante meeting concludes today and I have a best bet on the card from the 10f handicap. However perhaps the best value lies at Aintree where they stage a cracking evening of jumps action. We had a good second day at York with headline selection Afaak winning (advised 15/2) and Carlton Frankie placing for the each-way bet (advised 16/1).

York 4.05: Valcartier

Having never really been placed to best effect at Wolverhampton on his comeback from nine months off the track two weeks ago, Valcartier will surely shape much fitter for today and a race of this type looks well within his scope on last year’s form.

He came from far too far off the pace at Wolverhampton, but flew home for second over the extended 9f having finally been asked for an effort in the straight. The handicapper was obviously impressed as he saw fit to give him a 4lb rise – and he was probably right to do so.

He won his maiden in decisive fashion on fast ground at Nottingham last spring and then was only narrowly defeated on handicap debut at Windsor. His one poor run came at Newmarket – but that was on soft going and presumably he was injured anyway as he was eased and then did not run again. However Wolverhampton displayed his well being and I think he will have much more to offer in 2018.

Aintree 6.40: Massini’s Trap

An occasional visitor to Aintree over the years, Massini’s Trap put in an exceptional performance to win a competitive class 2 handicap here in the autumn of 2016 on good ground just like he will encounter this evening. Only 3lbs higher today and with a useful claimer on board he offers good value at a double figure price.

Although only ninth here at the National meeting last month, I thought he shaped very well considering he would have hated the very soft going. Interestingly he was entered for a race at Chepstow on Tuesday, only to be rerouted here instead for a much more valuable prize.

He is an out and out good ground performer and was also a good third here in the autumn when 6lbs higher. He had a quiet winter due to the going but is likely to be on the go throughout the summer and given his fine track record here I expect him to run a big race.

Recommended bets:

1pt win – Valcartier – 4.05 York – 9/2 general

1pt each-way – Massinis Trap – 6.40 Aintree – 12/1 William Hill, Paddy Power

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