Nick’s Aintree Picks – Day Two
After a power packed day of action at Aintree on Thursday the attention moves to Friday’s racing and some ultra competitive racing once again. Nick Luck is on hand to deliver the verdicts. Don’t miss tomorrow for the Grand National plus a terrific supporting card.
1.45 Alder Hay Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle ( Grade 3 )
After Lough Derg Spirit was ruled out this morning I’m without a strong selection, but I’ll mention three against the field here for a fiercely competitive opener on Friday.
Storm Home for Colin Tizzard and Harry Cobden could easily be way ahead of the handicapper, while stablemates Spiritofthegames and Three Musketeers (chosen by Harry Skelton) are both interesting for Harry Skelton.
2.20 Top Novices Hurdle ( Grade 1 )
A strong edition of this race can go to Global Citizen.
He has looked high class since joining Ben Pauling, and was well backed before scooting home in the Dovecote at Kempton. He had speed to burn that day and is probably going to be most effective on good ground, but he dismissed a smart horse on soft ground at Southwell and can get the better of Cheltenham 6th, Vision des Flos here.
2.50 Mildmay Novices Chase ( Grade 1 )
A very tightly matched group for a staying novice Chase that features plenty of horses long on proven stamina.
Elegant Escape ran a solid third behind two very smart Irish rivals in the RSA and won’t mind if this becomes a good test. We saw how well the yard’s horses ran yesterday and this one has obvious credentials.
Overnight market leader Terrefort may yet improve for the step up in trip, but that’s not a given. Ms Parfois, on the other hand, will keep trying all the way to the line, and is sure to run another bold race.
3.25 JLT Melling Chase ( Grade 1)
A terrific match up between Min and Balko des Flos, and the latter gets the nod.
In the post-Cheltenham wash-up, Balko got far fewer headlines than he deserved, but needs taking very seriously. It may be that the Ryanair fell to pieces somewhat, but he breezed into the race effortlessly. In essence, he is very marginally preferred here because we know that a well run 2 1/2 miles is spot-in for him, is rated 1lb higher and is twice the price.
4.05 Topham Handicap Chase ( Grade 3 )
O O Seven and Ballyalton are the two I’m backing in the Topham.
The first named was a decent fourth in this last year when he probably saw the front a bit too soon. He looks a stronger stayer this season and the handicapper has generously dropped him a couple of pounds for one indifferent run.
Ballyalton is a really good jumper, tries hard and is well enough handicapped for a horse with his innate ability. Tom O’Brien begged connections to run him in this and his judgment can be vindicated.
Nick Luck Aintree Selections Day 2 –
2.20 – Global Citizen
2.50 – Elegant Escape
3.25 – Balko des Flos
4.05 – O O Seven / Ballyalton
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.