In the 1.45 at Aintree I’m backing Protektorat and Eldorado Allen. At the start of the season I thought Protektorat would go right to the top. But after winning his first two chases easily he flopped twice at 1/2, trying hard, but not finishing off his races. It was no big surprise to hear he’d had wind surgery; this is his first run since, and he also wears a tongue tie. I’m hoping these breathing aids have the desired effect and we see what he might be capable of.
Eldorado Allen has bumped into that tartar Shishkin the last twice, battling valorously but hopelessly. The step up in trip here should help.
Monmiral and Adagio dominate the market despite having to give the unbeaten filly Fivenandtwenty 7lbs. The filly is 15/2 with Bet365 when you select 3 places EW. She could come on quite significantly for this better ground, and is my choice EW to those three places.
2.50 I thought Native River had a fine chance in the Gold Cup after looking better than ever this season. He could never get to the front there but has every chance of doing so here as he is the only obvious front runner. Once in his rhythm this is the perfect pancake track with fences that take a bit of jumping. He won’t get his ideal ground, but I believe he will still be too good for the others. I’ll back him EW to 4 places at 11/2 with Skybet.
3.25 Another I’d hoped might bring a payday this season was Song For Someone. I’d backed him a few times ante post at big prices for the Champion Hurdle, but connections decided at the last minute to pull him out and keep him for Aintree. This is a hot race. One in particular who could be improving in leaps and bounds is Jason The Militant. But, like a few here, he hasn’t run at 20f let alone won over the trip. Another horse I have a soft spot for is Not So Sleepy who can be something of a madcap front runner at times. If he sets off in front here round the tight Mildmay course he could be like a hare on a rail and very hard to catch.
I”ll probably regret my other selection, as I believe in the old saying ‘They never come back’. But Buveur D’Air is just too big a price to ignore for one of his class. The dual Champion Hurdler was off for a long time after injuring his foot at Newcastle in 2019. He returned in bad ground at Haydock in January, travelling well enough throughout but when asked he found nil. Given that he has stood up to training, he handles the ground and the track and his class is stamped right through several seasons (he has won 8 Grade 1s; his rivals have managed just 5 among them). I can’t let him go unbacked at 10/1 EW to 4 places.
But I’ll stick too with Song For Someone whose run last time behind Goshen was just too poor to be true. I’m backing him EW to 4 places with Paddypower.
4.05 This is the big Hunter Chase over the Grand National fences. The four I like are:
Cat Tiger: Latenightpass: Risk And Roll: Rewritetherules
Cat Tiger won last time out on his Hunter Chase debut, jumping well. He won twice at Grade 3 level in France and, at 7, could have quite a bit to come yet. I’ll bet him EW to 6 places at 13/2 with Bet365 (you need to hit the EW Extra tab on that race page to see these odds)
I’m also betting Rewritetherules EW to 6 places at 50/1 with Skybet. Last time out he was well beaten by Billaway, the favourite here. But he travelled like a decent horse and was in contention coming to the last. He tired from there, but ran his best rating. At 7 he’s co-youngest in the race and could have some improvement to come. His jumping is solid (touch wood) and he wears a first time tongue tie. I think he has a very fair chance of finishing in the top six
4.40 Should be a great race to watch, this hot two mile handicap chase round the Mildmay track. I’m backing two: On The Slopes. Who’s had two promising runs since wind surgery.He ran a fine race last time at the Cheltenham Festival to be 4th in the Grand Annual, beaten just over six lengths. The drying ground should suit him well.
My other here is The King of May. He’s been consistent over fences this season and is another who will enjoy the ground. He’s probably best fresh and hasn’t raced over fences since January 12th. I’m taking him EW at 22/1 and On The Slopes EW at 7/1 both to 6 places with Skybet.
In the 5.15 I’ll be cheering on Eileendover to maintain her unbeaten streak. She’s trained by Pam Sly who has been training almost as long as I’ve been punting. She could have a cracker of a filly on her hands and I hope Eileen scorches the grass in the home straight.
1.45 Protektorat 15/2: Eldorado Allen 9/1 Win only
2.20 Fiveandtwenty EW to 3 places at 15/2 – Bet365
2.50 Native River EW to 4 places at 11/2 – Skybet
3.25 Buveur D’Air EW to 4 places 10/1, and Song For Someone EW to 4 places both Paddy Power
4.05 Cat Tiger EW to 6 places at 13/2 – Bet365 Rewritetherules EW to 6 places at 50/1 Skybet
4.40 On The Slopes 7/1 The King Of May 22/1 both to 6 places EW Skybet
Good luck. Go easy on stakes.
All the best.