It was a triumphant day for our field-narrowing on day one of Aintree. We rightly plumped for Silviniaco Conti and even managed to isolate the first three home in the Aintree Hurdle – the slight caveat being Arctic Fire’s fall basically made it happen. Then, in the last race of our analysis, we put up Surf And Turf, who produced the goods in fantastic style to land the Red Rum Handicap Chase at odds of 33/1. Now, let’s try to repeat the trick for day two.
2.50 Aintree – Betfred Bowl Chase
On the face of it, our field-narrowing has limited success, leaving five of the nine runners smack bang in the middle. Wakanda hits the middle, but his form is at a level far below this so he needs dramatic improvement to mix it here. Saphir De Rheu is also in the sweet spot, but mostly due to his exploits over hurdles. When it comes to fences, he’s got a bit more to prove and at those odds, we’re going to rule him out in favour of a bigger price.
The one that stands out at the odds is Ainsi Fideles for the David Pipe team. He also needs to prove he’s up to this standard, but he has won seven of his last eight races and as a five year old, is likely to find the improvement he needs to get into the frame here.
Verdict: Ainsi Fideles
3.25 Aintree – Melling Chase
We’re taking the fairly ballsy move of striking a line through a former Champion Chaser for the Melling Chase. Sire De Grugy is class, but he’s had an interrupted season and hasn’t been tried at this distance in the past. Cue Card and Johns Spirit haven’t been at their best this term either while Croco Bay is stepping up in class while so he’s another one who we’ll rule out.
That leaves us with a four way Royal Rumble between Al Ferof, Balder Success, Don Cossack and Champagne Fever. Champagne Fever has been beaten by both Al Ferof and Don Cossack earlier this season, but we’re banking on the favourite to deliver this time around.
Verdict: Champagne Fever
4.05 Aintree – Topham Chase
This is possibly the most pointless Narrowing The Field we’ve ever done. After going through the card, we’re left with 12 of the 30 runners smack bang in the middle of the grid with a further 16 ticking two of the three boxes. Ruben Cotter is an interesting horse. He was ruled out for about a year and a half, but returned to the track with a nice win at Kempton last month. He’s a nine year old without many miles on the clock, so he’s the pick here, but in reality – there aren’t many options you can conclusively rule out.