Aintree selections Friday 8th April
Friday at Aintree and there are plenty of competitive handicaps to get stuck into, including the Topham which has attracted a maximum field of 30. I have selections for all three handicaps on the card.
Aintree 1.45: Fils D’oudairies & Broomfield Burg
Trainer Nicky Henderson might hold all the cards to the opening contest with three solid runners, two of which earn my vote.
FILS D’OUDAIRIES ran a cracker on first start for the yard at Ascot in February, chasing home the well handicapped Unexpected Party. That was his first run over hurdles since leaving his native France as a 4yo and that effort showed his handicap mark to be very fair.
He had not really taken to jumping fences, despite some decent form, including a second to Envoi Allen. However consecutive falls at both Cheltenham and Punchestown last spring have seen that chasing career put on hold. Providing he acts on the quicker going, he has the class to get involved.
BROOMFIELD BURG has proved a frustrating character so far, but the step up to 2m4f today might be the making of him. He has always proved a strong traveller in his races, but not always found a great deal off the bridle, such as when outfought by Lively Citizen over 2m1f at Cheltenham. He then failed to place in top handicaps at Newbury and in the County at Cheltenham. However he might things happening less quickly at this trip and could get into a better rhythm and find more at the business end as a result.
Aintree 4.05: Senior Citizen
Whilst the nature of the National course at Aintree has changed dramatically in recent years, there is still room for a course specialist and SENIOR CITIZEN certainly fits that bill.
This will be his fourth visit to the track and he has placed third in this race twelve months ago and second in the Sefton in November. A brilliant jumper, he also likes this sort of going and in the circumstances ran a cracker on soft at Newbury last month, when that in all probability was merely a stepping stone for today.
He will be sharper for today and has even been dropped a pound in the weights. He gets a lovely racing weight of 10-8 thanks to the presence of Royal Rendezvous.
Aintree 5.15: Severance
Jockey Kevin Brogan is one of the top conditionals around at the moment and his booking for SEVERANCE in the finale looks significant.
Formerly a useful flat horse, his career has been patchy since. He has been beaten in his last six attempts since winning on hurdles debut at Cartmel, but he was a good second at Cheltenham in November and was only beaten 5l in a good race at Kelso last month. He has had his wind tinkered with since, but his free going style of racing often plays against him.
However I can see a strong pace helping him today and this flat track will play to his strengths given his speed from flat racing. Brogan will also be able to deliver him at the right moment which could be key to his chances.
1pt each-way – Fils D’Oudairies – 1.45 Aintree – 17/2 William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Broomfield Burg – 1.45 Aintree 12/1 general (1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Senior Citizen – 4.05 Aintree – 12/1 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 7)
1pt each-way – Severance – 5.15 Aintree – 13/2 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 5)