Aintree Festival 2022 – Day Two Preview & Tips
The Aintree Grand National Festival 2022 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) – 2M ½F
Danger: First Street
Jonbon ran a decent race in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and only found the enigma that is Constitution Hill too strong.
Prior to that, he managed to win three races on the bounce at Haydock, Ascot and Newbury. He clearly acts well on a flat track and provided this race hasn’t come too soon, he should take all the beating.
The Seven Barrows handler has taken this prize five times since 2010 and no surprise if he was do so again.
El Fabiolo is only as short as he is trained by Willie Mullins. He could well be anything, but the fact that he has a first time hood on at this stage is a concern.
He won his maiden at Tramore by thirteen lengths but has yet to prove he is anywhere near top level.
First Street ran a game race against State Man at Cheltenham and could well be the bigger threat.
Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) – 3M 1F
Danger: L’Homme Presse
There will be nothing between the front two in the betting here but Bravemansgame missed his intended engagement on account of the desperate ground at Cheltenham and as a result L’Homme Presse capitalised to take the Brown Advisory.
The ground looks a good bit better here today and as a result of being a little fresher and the fact that this is run on a flat track, Bravemansgame can exact his revenge.
The yard received a massive boost following the success of Clan Des Obeaux in the Betway Bowl yesterday and they can follow up here.
If a significant amount of rain does fall then that brings L’Homme Presse right back into the equation.
Venetia Williams is a master of producing her horses under such conditions to have won many decent prizes in the past.
Ahoy Senor is a previous course and distance winner but he had a difficult enough race at Cheltenham and his season may have gone on long enough.
Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) (Grade 1) (Class 1) – 2M 4F
Tip: Fakir D’Oudaries
Danger: Sceau Royal
Fakir D’Oudairies comes back here to defend his crown following a wide margin success in this race in 2021.
The Joseph O’Brien trained seven-year-old has clearly had this as his main season objective as he intentionally missed the Cheltenham Festival.
JP McManus’ retained jockey Mark Walsh once again takes the ride and having scored twice already this season, the pair have to command respect once again here.
Funambule Sivola ran the race of his life to finish second in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
He was firmly put in his place by Energumene that day and he had a hard enough race.
He has also been tried at this distance twice in the past and failed to last home. He needs to take a massive step forward.
Sceau Royal also skipped Cheltenham and comes here a fresh horse. His wins have mostly come on flat tracks, so Aintree should lend itself well to him.
He will appreciate the ground and he looks the main danger.
Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) – 2M 5F
Tip: Pink Eyed Pedro
Danger: Mac Tottie
Pink Eyed Pedro ran the race of his life to finish second in this race last year. He scrapes in here off joint bottom weight and provided he is fully over his fall in what was his prep over hurdles, he can make the frame again.
Whilst not winning any race afterwards, he maintained his form well all of last season and there is no obvious reason as to why he can’t be effective back over the larger fences once again.
Eyes are immediately drawn to Notebook who is a multiple Grade One winner contesting a handicap and on a going day he would pick this field up and carry them home.
This is his debut in a race such as this and he might find it all happening a little too quickly for him.
Willie Mullins and Peter Bowen love to win this race so the likes of Batcio and Mac Tottie should also be noted.
Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) 3M ½ F
Banbridge ran a fantastic race when getting up to beat Cobbler’s Dream at Cheltenham just a few weeks ago.
He is only lightly raced and is rated six pounds higher than anything else lining up against him.
He meets them all bar Haute Estime on level weights and he can make his class tell.
It takes a good novice to win this as previous winners include Ahoy Senor, Champ and Ballyoptic. Banbridge is still only a six-year old and there is likely more improvement to come over this longer trip.
Gelino Bello is a previous course winner and will appreciate a return to this track as well as the trip.
Paul Nicholls has enjoyed a good week so far and it would be no surprise is this one was to make the frame.
Skytastic is still unbeaten after four starts and he was unlucky not to make the cut at Cheltenham.
He remains an unknown quantity and could well prove the biggest danger for Sam Thomas and Sam Twiston-Davies.
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