The Aintree Grand National Festival 2021 is well under way and to make sure that you don’t miss out, Karl Hedley has put together a preview of each race on the second day.
With a little bit of knowledge and a few choice tips, it’s a great guide to Day Two.
Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) – 2m½f
Danger: My Drogo
Dusart is thoroughly unexposed and won his novices’ hurdle in good style when beating Soaring Glory.
That horse came out and franked the form in no uncertain terms by winning the Betfair Hurdle back in February.
He is a half-brother to former stable star Simonsig and if improving in a similar fashion, he ought to take a world of beating.
Nicky Henderson has won this race four times in the last ten years, so knows exactly the type of horse to aim here.
The likes of My Drogo, Dreal Deal and Ajero are coming here in red-hot form but have endured a long, tiring season. Dusart is as fresh as a daisy and he can cement his class over them.
Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) – 3m1f
Tip: Chantry House
Chantry House can supplement his Cheltenham win by playing a starring role yet again.
He came home twenty-eight lengths in front of Shan Blue and it is difficult to see the Skelton runner reversing that form.
Chantry House has some excellent form on flat tracks, so whilst untested at Aintree, the course should present no obvious cause for concern.
He is clearly improving and can continue on an upward trajectory here.
Nicky Henderson has taken two of the last three renewals of this race with the likes of Terrefort and Might Bite, both of whom both ran well at Cheltenham a few weeks prior.
The Melling Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) – 2m4f
Danger: Fakir D’Oudaries
Politilogue would surely have gone close in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham but for a nosebleed just before the off.
As a result, he was understandably withdrawn and if fully over whatever ailed him, he can gain compensation here.
He won this race three years ago and went down on his sword when runner-up to Min the following year.
As one of the few previous course and distance winners in the line-up, he has to be right at the top of any shortlist.
Fakir D’Oudairies ran another fantastic race when outgunned by Allaho.
He was only just touched off in the Doom Bar a couple of seasons ago and he will be bang there looking for a first win of the campaign.
Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) – 2m5f
Tip: Two For Gold E/W
Two For Gold could well prove the key to unlocking this puzzle as he is a model of consistency.
The eight-year-old often wears his heart on his sleeve and tries to make the running in most of his races.
He was far from disgraced when third to Cloth Cap in the Premier Chase at Kelso and a return to a flatter track will certainly be more in his favour.
All of his best runs have come at similar tracks such as Warwick, Wetherby and Doncaster, so if taking to these fences he will prove a threat to all.
He skipped the Cheltenham Festival to be saved for this and hopefully the ground does not dry out too much for him, as he loves to get his toe in.
Many of this field have their quirks but one who may give him most to think about is the consistent Ibleo.
Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) 3m½f
Danger: Midnight River
Only two Irish trained horses have won this inside the last two decades (Sackville 2000 and Asian Maze 2005), so it seems safe to stick with Bravemansgame who lived up to his name when chasing home Bob Olinger in the Ballymore at Cheltenham just last month.
That form is head and shoulders above anything else in this race as The Shunter is far from guaranteed to see out this extra half mile, whilst Streets Of Doyen may have had a tough enough race at the Festival.
Midnight River loves a flat track and is happy enough on this ground. He could well give the Nicholls’ runner the most to think about.