Aintree Grand National Festival 2022
Friday 8th April 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
It’s a Grade 3 over two miles and four furlongs that kicks things off on Day 2 of the Aintree Grand National Meeting at 1:45. This is another race where I’m probably going more heart than head, as I’m siding with Cobblers Dream at 15/2 for Ben Case and Jack Andrews. He’s a horse that I’ve grown very fond of this season having seen him win at Warwick all the way back in September, and he’s come on a big journey since then. It’s not all heart though, as he certainly arrives here with a solid chance following his fine effort at Cheltenham after an impressive win in the Lanzarote at Kempton. If a long season hasn’t caught up with him yet he’s every chance of running a big race once again.
I’m now going to give my views on each of the next three upcoming Grade 1s. Starting off with the 2.20 which is the Top Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and half of a furlong. I think this can go to Jonbon who’s around the 5/4 mark currently for Nicky Henderson and Aidan Coleman, who had success with Epatante here on the opening day of the meeting. He’s a dual Grade 2 winner this season and followed stablemate Constitution Hill home at Cheltenham when last season, which is the best form on offer here.
The next Grade 1 comes up at 2:55 which is the Mildmay Novices’ Chase over three miles and a furlong. Bravemansgame can take this for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden, who’s currently a 6/4 chance. He missed Cheltenham due to the arrival of the rain, he should, however, appreciate Aintree more anyhow, and has to be considered a massive player for this. At 3:30 we then have the Marsh Melling Chase over two miles and four furlongs, and I think this can go to Fakir D’oudairies at 13/8 for Joseph O’Brien and Mark Walsh. He won this race last year by the best part of 11 lengths and looks primed to retain his crown, it will take a big performance to stop him.
Looking at the remainder of the card, the Topham comes up at 4:05 over two miles and five furlongs. It’s not a race that I have a massively strong opinion in, but I’ve had a tentative alliance with Palmers Hill at 20/1 for Jonjo O’Neil. He’s a horse that has clearly had some issues, but he has talent in the locker as he’s proved with two victories this term, including a nine length success in a decent Ascot Handicap, if adapting to this test he could outrun his price. The concluding Grade 1 comes up at 4:40 and it’s the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle over three miles and half of a furlong. I think Gelino Bello could go well here at 6/1 for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden, he ran solid races in Grade 2 company at Cheltenham earlier in the season behind Blazing Khal, then put it all together with a nine length success in a novice event at Newbury. There’s every chance that’s more to come from him.