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Preview 04 April 2008


Aintree Day 2 Good to soft (good in places)

2.00 Mildmay Novice Chase Grade 2

Itís the turn of the novice chasers today and Royal Sun Alliance winner Albertas Run is likely to be a very strong favourite for this race after beating all his main rivals in good fashion at Cheltenham. Howard Johnson however has had this race in mind for sometime now for the unbeaten Cedrus Libani over fences and has already ran well at this track albeit in a two runner affair with Tramatano who isnít a reliable yardstick to base the race around.

The other to maybe cause concern to the favourite is Big Bucks who was in the process of running a big race in the Feltham before he uprooted several fences in his bid to concede weight all round. His finishing position was no disgrace considering those pointers and deserves his chance on a track that is ideal for him and its rare for Paul Nichols to get it wrong in terms of trip with his novices and he should see out the trip.

The Royal Sun Alliance didnít go to plan for Joe Lively and his season looks to have tailed off after much early promise and we have got to the bottom of that horse I feel, while Roll Along who sprinted up the hill in good style is better suited to a stiffer finish in my view and could get outpaced on this sharper track at a crucial time. The favourite has holes in his form to be picked at as he was niggled early in the RSA and even though it was Tidal Bay that smashed him at this track, his running style does suggest he isnít one to go heavy on at this track at a short price. Starzaan may be worth another try as his form is solid enough if you discount the Cheltenham run where he didnít jump a fence at all and I donít feel he is right handed track horse either. He holds the value in a poor looking race in which Battlecry may have been to the well one to many times this season and could boil over despite the course potentially suiting him.

Verdict Ė 1st Starzaan 2nd Battlecry 3rd Albertas Run 4th Big BuckS

Advised bet Ė Starzaan 2pts win @ 10-1 (12ísBF)

2.35 Sefton Novice hurdle Grade 1

The staying division for the novices could give us many clues to next seasons plans as quite a few of these have most probably been trained with fences in mind and schooling is likely to have been already started. The Winner of the 3M at Cheltenham in game fashion was Nenuphar Collonges who finds plenty of the bridle, but where as Cheltenham helped him with his stamina he is not the quickest of horses and is likely to get outpaced in this event today as the hurdle track is quite sharp.

The Favourite is the classy Tazbar who avoided Cheltenham for this event for Keith Reverley and looks a very strong staying type. His win at Doncaster has been franked with Whiteoak proving to be a decent Mare and the Haydock run was even more impressive when he hacked up in great style and has been regarded as many as their value banker for this meeting as he is odds against in this race. The Tother one is a interesting runner having ran green when losing out at Cheltenham and there could be further improvement to come from the horse who has had many runs since Christmas. Petitfluer and Quickbeam deserve their entries as they bid to bridge the gap from handicappers to grade performers, while gone to Lunch will be looking for compensation for his run at Cheltenham and deserves a success. Souffleur destroyed Elusive Dream At Newbury and has solid form around this track, the flat track should bring about a turn to form and can put the run behind Tazbar where he was shocking behind him and could well turn that form on its head here today. A strong gallop is likely and it looks a better race then the 3M at Cheltenham.

Verdict Ė 1st Souffleur 2nd Tazbar 3rd Gone to lunch 4th Thetotherone

Advised bet Ė Souffleur 1pt win @ 6/1 (BF7ís)

3.10 Melling Chase grade 1

The star appeal on day 2 has to be the reappearance of Master Minded who has been promoted to best national hunt around after the way he destroyed his rivals in the champion chase and is likely to be a shoe in today given the rivals on hand to challenge him are ones he beat last time and two extra rags for him not to see. Likely to sit in behind Tamarinbleu who will be more suited to this trip then the champion chase could well run a big race and give the favourite most to think about as Voy Por Ustedes is more of a speed horse. The ground should however be in more favour of the Alan King runner and while he was rated just over a stone worse then Master Minded in the Champion Chase he could well get a lot closer today with Master Minded likely to be held on to a lot longer by Ruby Walsh.

This should be cut and dry for the favourite as he has much in hand on ratings and given that he had the Game Spirit at Newbury covered from 2 out with Voy por staying on, he should stay this trip despite what his French record suggest.

Verdict Ė 1st Master Minded 2nd Tamarinbleu 3rd Voy Por Ustedes

Advised Bet Ė Tamarinbleu 1/2pt e/w @ 10-1 (11ís + 2ísBF)

3.45 See main preview

4.20 Novice hurdle grade 2

Binocular franked the form of the supreme yesterday and while captain Cee Bee conquered that horse, the performance at Cheltenham isnít highly likely to be mirrored here today on a totally different track, niggled along early in the Supreme hurdle he was given a peach of a ride when out battling his rival up the hill and looks in a similar mould to Inglis Drever and a step up in trip may bring upon further improvement in the horse and at the age of 7 may be one for the longer trips next season.

While this is less competitive then the supreme hurdle and he is likely to go close, his odds are not a true reflection of his chances and there is value to be had elsewhere in this top novice hurdle. All bar two of his rivals gets some help at the weights today with Pigeon Island one that doesnít get any help in the conditions of this race. The Grey has had a hard season and will no doubt pay the price now for his targets through out the season. Khyber Kim was a big disappointment in the supreme hurdle and is yet to live up to his billing after a successful debut at Newbury where he won well. The run behind Tazbar could take some franking prior to this race but he may just not be good enough at this level. Blue Bajan didnít run to bad in the supreme hurdle and should be well suited to this track, but he is another who just lacks that extra bit of class at this level. Paul Nichols Pierrot Lunaire has a good run to Binocular to call on here and gets weight as well from Captain Cee Bee, he should bustle up the favourite if coming on for that run which is possible, while Greenbridge has done nothing wrong in his two wins either.

The Favourite looks the most likely winner but hasnít got that much in hand with the change in conditions today and could well be another good winner for the bookies.

Verdict Ė 1st Pierrot Lunaire 2nd Captain Cee Bee 3rd Khyber Kim 4th Pigeon Island

Advised bet Ė Pierrot Lunaire 2pts win @ 5-1 (11-2BF)

Best of luck all

Well Chief