Joint-Favourites For Aintree Opener

Grand National Meeting

Horse Racing
Published: 10/04/2015
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The final day of the Grand National meeting kicks off with the 2m, 4f Grade One Mersey Novices` Hurdle. By following in the hoofprints of former winners Simonsig (2012), Ubak (2013) and Lac Fontana (2014), the winner from the 14-strong field will add their name to this roll call of successful entrants and see their connections win their share of the 42,000 first prize.

One of two current favourites for the race is Nichols Canyon, available for backing at the best price of 7/2 at bet365 and a number of other bookmakers. The five-year-old Willie Mullins mount went off the favourite in this season`s Neptune Investment Management Novices` Hurdle but failed to perform at the Cheltenham Festival, just snatching third from Vyta Du Roc. Nicky Henderson`s charge grabbed a fortuitous second position at this meeting yesterday and this form doesn`t look brilliant as a result.

The other joint-favourite is Parlour Games, AP McCoy`s first ride in his final day as a jockey at the Grand National meeting. This horse was second in that weak looking Neptune but would seem to have a better chance than Nichols Canyon, not just because he came second to the Wylie charge`s third, but because he is the more experienced of the two favourites, especially at this 21f distance. The undulations of Cheltenham are also said to be a tougher test than the flatter Aintree course which could see Parlour Games be better off here, especially with previous experience over the similar styled Kempton.

Again, the John Ferguson trained son of Monson is also available at 7/2, this price also being on offer at most established bookmakers.

Days Of Heaven isn`t too far behind in the betting at a price of 5/1 at bet365. Looking to be Nicky Henderson`s third winner in five years, the five-year-old has improved to win on all of his last three starts, the last of these being the Grade One Dovecote Novices` Hurdle at Kempton. Whilst this is his first outing at around 21f, the ease with which he picked up these three titles suggests that the Michael Buckley owned horse will take well to the longer trip.

Whilst conditions are also bound to suit, the only negative is that he will be in the hands of Peter Carberry after his regular jockey Barry Geraghty became unavailable for this meeting after picking up an injury.

Warren Greatrex`s Seedling was well fancied for the Grade One Supreme Novices` Hurdle but unseated after failing to look content in the early stages. This early exit may have masked what could have been a poor end performance from the horse had he have stayed on his feet though his trainer will sure have worked hard to get him in better shape for this event. Whether or not he is yet up to Grade One standard after, at best, only scooping a class three at Cheltenham, we will only find out tomorrow though he can be backed at the best price of 9/1 at bet365 and a number of other bookies.

Dan and Harry Skelton team up to bring us the undefeated Three Musketeers at a price of 10/1 (Numerous) with there perhaps being value in that price after the horse picked up a Grade Two at Warwick last time out. Three Musketeers beat Ben Case`s Ballagh by three-quarters-of-a-length whilst beating Warren Greatrex`s Grade One Albert Bartlett finisher Shantou Bob by a full 10 lengths. Surely he can`t go off at 10s tomorrow?

Elsewhere at even bigger prices, Paul Nicholls is two-handed with As De Mee (12/1 - Numerous) and Port Melon (25/1 - Numerous) and Mertesacker looks to complete his first race over hurdles at odds of 300/1 (Coral).

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (10/04/2015) but are subject to change.

10/04/2015     © Frixo 2019

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