The Aintree Festival is highlighted by the 2018 Grand National on Saturday, April 14 but before the 40-strong field battle it out over four miles and 30 fences for a place in the history books we have a strong support act offering plenty of betting value.
Friday is Ladies Day at the Liverpool course and it’ll be as well attended this year as ever. In the stands, fashion is as important as winning is on the turf but against the fun of it all, there’s also the serious business of finding winners.
There’s no lack of attractive prices to catch the eye in the renewal of the ever-popular Topham Handicap Chase with traders seemingly at a loss to nail down a betting favorite. That’s great news for players looking to get their stake money down.
This grade three contest boasts a rich history stretching back to 1949 and the plus five-year-old’s dispute a chunky winner’s check over two miles five furlongs. Ultragold was weighed in as champion 12 months ago off a stunning SP and we’re set for another double-figure winner this year.
You’ll find an in-depth Grand National Ladies Day betting guide at this URL and below there’s the pick of the main players in the day’s highlight.
Source: Pink Link HQ via Twitter
Favorite’s form does little to inspire
Going into race month and there were two horses at the head of the betting – O O Seven and Theatre Territory. The former represents trainer Nicky Henderson but his recent stats make him a tough horse to trust.
The eight-year-old gelding arrives at Merseyside showing stats of six wins and five places from 18 runs but hasn’t poked his nose in front since winning a novice’s handicap chase at Huntingdon back in January of last year. Going off an odds-on favorite that day he wasn’t all that impressive when holding off runner-up Mad Jack Mytton by ½ a length.
That unconvincing effort was a sign of things to come for backers and O O Seven has since run six times, getting no closer than third in an open handicap chase around Newbury in December. That race was won by Oldgrangewood with Jameson leading Nico de Boinville and O O Seven home.
Source: Horse Racing Info via Twitter
There’s confidence in the Theatre camp
Theatre Territory offers followers of the form more to get excited about with the Warren Greatrex trained runner placing in each of her last five. The progressive eight-year-old mare was last seen third at Kempton in a 3m handicap earlier this year behind Master Dee and Ballykan. She again carried a big price but led the contest in the middle stages.
Seemed to empty the tank at the business end of the contest that day which would suggest the step back in trip will benefit her. Second over 2m 4f at Cheltenham behind Mister Whitaker, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, but had SP favorite Sizing Tennessee beat by a fair distance and that would’ve done wonders for her confidence.