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Horse Racing

Aintree Friday 9th April

Friday 9th April 14:20

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and betting tips for the races at Aintree on Friday 9th April.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Third Time Lucki 7/2 Win
2.20 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle
Place Bet
For Pleasure 11/1 Win
2.20 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle
Place Bet
Huntsman Son 12/1 E/W
4.05 Randox Topham Handicap Chase
Place Bet
Modus 12/1 E/W
4.05 Randox Topham Handicap Chase
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 09/04/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (07:45 09/04/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Yesterday, for the column, Clondaw Castle ran a mighty race to be second in the Bowl, but bumped into a fresh and cheekpiece-induced perkier version of Clan Des Obeaux. No disgrace there.

The day was a little more widely spread after that, with popular winners in the Fox Hunters, Red Rum Handicap Chase and the Mares’ Bumper.

Onto day two, and on the whole it looks very tricky – with no fewer than five races on the card proving beyond me in terms of finding a solid selection. For the most part, I feel it is a day to savour, but I do like the look of the Grade 1 Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle over 2m at 2.20.

Dusart is a horse I have a lot of time for after his impressive debut win at Newbury, and could prove to be a cut above. But, he has had a setback which derailed any Cheltenham aspirations, and is pitched in deep on just his second hurdle start. Such is the regard in which he is held at Seven Barrows, you have to respect him, but he is priced up on what he might do in a year or two’s time, and not what he has done to date.

Dan and Harry Skelton had a decent day yesterday, with Protektorat bouncing back and Elle Est Belle running a big race from off the pace in the Mares’ Bumper, and in the shape of Third Time Lucki at 7/2 generally, they have what I think should be a favourite’s chance of winning the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at 2.20.

Campaigned very much with the County Hurdle in mind all season, Third Time Lucki sat close to a strong pace that day, freewheeled himself to the front on the run downhill, and then found himself on the long, lung-bursting run to the final hurdle with many rivals snapping at his heels. In the end, he did remarkably well to box on and hold his position in sixth, just over 3 lengths behind the re-opposing winner Belfast Banter.

Everything about Aintree and this race will be spot on for Third Time Lucki, and in no way will he be disadvantaged by sitting close to a strong pace around the hurdles track here. That strong pace will be at least maintained, if not defined, by Alex Hales For Pleasure, who actually has a verdict over Third Time Lucki in his locker from Cheltenham last November.

At 11/1, For Pleasure is worth a saver bet, as he could get loose around Aintree, in the manner he did at Cheltenham in November, and tactics which were employed to good effect by a few yesterday.

If you take the monster Appreciate It out of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, then For Pleasure would have been a headline-making runner-up. There are a host of new rivals, like Ajero, Any News and Houx Gris to contend with, but you’d be hard pushed to suggest that For Pleasure doesn’t have the best form on offer. He shouldn’t be 11/1.

Having already advised Livelovelaugh at 10/1 for the Randox Topham Handicap Chase over the National fences in mid-March, it is no surprise to see him now favourite. Granted luck in-running and all things being equal, surely he won’t be out of the frame. Still available at 7/1, and 13/2 for 7 places for each-way bets, he is a definite bet if anyone is not already on him.

With William Hill and Sky Bet offering 7 places for each-way bets, the Topham is a race in which it makes sense to have a couple (or three) cracks at it – and continuing the Alex Hales appreciation theme of the day, his bold jumping Huntsman Son makes a lot of appeal at 12/1 each-way with Sky Bet. He made up a lot of ground as the pace was quickening behind The Shunter in the Plate at the Cheltenham festival, and will enjoy this unique test.

While, Paul Nicholls’ Modus is also worth supporting at 12/1 each-way with William Hill for 7 places, as he has striking record fresh, loves decent ground, and ran a cracker on his only try over these fences in the Grand Sefton, on ground he’d have hated.

I also wouldn’t put anyone off a few quid each-way on Kauto Riko, who might ideally want a little further, and get himself too far behind, but will be running on strongly, and is exactly the kind of bet at 25/1 that the extra each-way places concession was made for.

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