Aintree Reflections

April 16th, 2018 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there!

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Aintree even though the damp and cold conditions on the first couple of days meant the horses had their rugs on until they left the paddock.

Ms Parfois must now take rank as my favourite mare of the season.

Unfortunate when caught at Cheltenham by Rathvinden, she again ran her heart out in the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase against Terrefort.

I think Ms Parfois may have just been feeling the effects of Cheltenham, while the return to 3m 1f may have been a little sharp for her. I could see her proving a serious contender for the Coral Welsh Grand National next season, if that is the route her connections choose to follow.

Once again underfoot conditions were wrong for Cloudy Dream, who will be seen to far greater effect whenever he can get to race on good ground. By contrast Politologue loved the mud and ran about 7lb above his best form on a line through Min.

Debece ran very well to finish fourth on his belated seasonal debut on day three. I don’t know what the plan is now, but connections obviously won’t want to lose the horse’s novice chase certificate at this stage of the season so he may have another spin or two over hurdles.

I have still not come to terms with Aye Aye Charlie’s run in the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

Available at 100/1 in the morning and carrying my each-way money, he would have been third in another 50 yards. Unfortunately this half-brother to Chase The Spud is not a fluent jumper of hurdles, which causes him to lose momentum. As a consequence it’s hard for him to get into a rhythm but he will be seen to far better effect stepped back up to three miles, especially when he goes chasing next season. Keep this horse on your side.

I was pleased to see Identity Thief prove well suited to the step up to an extended three miles. I felt beforehand that he was bred for the trip and the 20/1 available early on was generous.

As for the Grand National, I was one of many who thought beforehand that Tiger Roll would struggle over the fences and in the ground. As it turned out he fiddled his way round, under a superb ride from Davy Russell, but would have been caught by the runner-up in another stride.

It was a shame to see Blaklion get brought down at the first while I was disappointed that I Just Know didn’t last longer. My best outsider Milansbar ran a strange race, up there for much of the way before dropping back through the field only to stay on strongly from the last to finish fifth.

Bye for now