DAY ONE was so near yet so far with both Clondaw Castle and Buveur D'Air hitting the frame at decent prices.
I don't have as many that jump out at me on Friday but I do have one in particular at a big price that I fancy and two more obvious ones. I plan to do doubles and a treble with my best bet for Saturday which I think will shorten.
I am very keen on DUSART here for Nicky Henderson. The horse looked a class act on debut and has been given a break before coming here where the good ground should be ideal. I'm recommending doubles and a treble with him, Politologue and My Drogo (runs Saturday).
It was a shame that POLITOLOGUE was a last minute non-runner in the Champion Chase at the festival due to a minor setback but it means that he comes here a fresh horse and Nicholls has his team flying. It's the Irish reserve squad of Fakir D'oudairies and Notebook that he has to take on and although both are decent and have form chances I would make Politologue clear favourite. He is often underestimated but has won better standard races than this, won this in 2018 and was second in 2019 and is the highest rated horse in this field (by 6lb minimum) for good reason. I think he should be nearer 15-8 or 7-4 than the 3-1 that is currently available and he looks a cracking bet to me at that price.
The Topham is of course massively competitive but I think the conditions are set up perfectly today for STORM CONTROL who ran really well for me at Cheltenham when trying to win the Kim Muir from the front. That's a tough ask at Cheltenham over 3 and a bit miles and today's test could be perfect for him. He is a bold jumper and has won over 2 miles and 2.5 miles in the past so going a quick pace is no problem for him. I can see him getting out in front and going a right good pace which could burn off a lot of the competition in behind over these fences. When someone comes to challenge as they surely will at some point, we know that he stays further than this trip so hopefully he will have plenty left in the tank to fight them off. He is far too big a price at 20-1 with Hills paying 7 places each way. Another shrewd angle might be to back him on the exchange and then if everything goes to plan and he gets the lead you could lay him in running at a shorter price of maybe 6-1 or 7-1 to take your stake back.
2.25pm Aintree – SATURDAY
I think MY DROGO could be the best bet of the week and is certainly the most likely winner that I am tipping up. He swerved Cheltenham which might have been a good idea when you see the performances of Appreciate It and Bob Olinger and instead comes here as a fresh horse with loads of potential. Ballyadam is the only real danger but he had a tough race at Cheltenham and has fallen short in Grade 1 company albeit behind the impressive Appreciate It. My Drogo absolutely hosed up at Kelso in an ok race and comes here with the yard in flying form. I think he will be backed and will go off much shorter than the 15-8 currently available. Stick him in doubles and a treble with Dusart and Politologue on Friday and hopefully we'll be celebrating the clean sweep come half 2 on Saturday.
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