A COMPARATIVELY low-key Saturday this week following the excitement of Aintree last weekend.
A good weekend for me too with winners at 14-1, 100-30 and 9-1 in the first three races at Aintree. I thoroughly enjoyed the Grand National too. Jamie Codd gave Cause of Causes a peach of a ride but couldn’t quite catch the excellent One for Arthur.
Rogue Angel was ridden far too prominently and too quickly and I suspect Bryan Cooper would like a chance to start again and ride the horse with more restraint. Vicente was a disaster, falling at the very first fence but assuming he is no worse for that fall he will hold plenty of appeal for the Scottish National at Ayr next week. I’ll revisit that once the bookies start to offer non-runner no bet.
This week two other northern tracks take centre stage on ITV Racing in the shape of Haydock and Musselburgh.
There are a few with a shout here but it’s not the strongest race and I think a safe bet for one that will run well is NO PLANNING for Sue Smith. He won last time out but only went up 3lb in the handicap. He has won from a higher handicap mark in the past, including at this track and as a 10 year old he isn’t past it at all. He looks the solid one in the field to me and the current price of 10-1 is too big.
A more competitive race, at least on paper, in this two-mile handicap hurdle. Midnight Maestro is the obvious one having won nicely last time out but his price is too short now in a more competitive race. The two that look like value to me are BROTHERLY COMPANY and VALHALLA. Valhalla is the best horse in the race and won well last time back on good ground. He has good ground again today, the tidy Harry Cobden on his back and should run well but if I was forced to pick one for the race it would be Brotherly Company. He was beaten comfortably enough by Midnight Maestro last time but he gets a 5lb swing in the handicap this time and I suspect Harry Fry might have been aiming him at this more valuable race. As a 5 year old I think he has potential to improve again and he looks like a nice each way value bet.
Switching from the jumps to the flat racing at Musselburgh there is one that appeals to me in this race. The Mark Johnston horse MAILSHOT has been in lovely form on the all-weather tracks through the winter and if he can transfer that form back to turf he has a lovely chance. He usually leads from the front (although he won last time coming from behind after a slow start) and with the master of pacesetting Joe Fanning on board he could be hard to catch. His fitness isn’t in doubt having run last month and he looks a sensible each way bet to me.
- 2.05 Haydock – No Planning – 1pt each way at 10-1 (William Hill)
- 3.15 Haydock – Brotherly Company – 1 pt each way at 12-1 (Skybet)
- 3.00 Musselburgh – Mailshot – 1pt each way at 9-1 (Ladbrokes)
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