Date of Tips: 08/04/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (07:37 08/04/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Here’s a quick reminder of my thoughts and selections for today’s opening day of the Randox Grand National meeting at Aintree, but there is also a bit to go at elsewhere today – and with that in mind, the daily selection comes from the second day of Gowran Park’s opening flat fixture.
The 1m fillies maiden at Naas 11 days ago, won by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Empress Josephine, had the look of a strong affair at the time. That notion began to play out yesterday when the 13th home Vera Verto won at odds of 125/1 yesterday! The Ger Lyons second string in that Naas race, Flagged, caught the eye in sixth, only one place behind the well-fancied stablemate and 7/4 favourite Blazing Star.
The trouble is, Flagged is second reserve in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Fillies Maiden at 4.00, and so while odds of 6/1 are extremely tempting about her taking a step forward from that debut effort at Naas, I can’t put her up as the daily bet as she’s far from guaranteed to be able to run.
I strongly suggest keeping an eye on any potential non-runners, and there is no harm in taking the 6/1, in the hope that she does get in, as you’ll simply get your money back if she doesn’t.
We have to wait until well into the evening for the selection, and that comes in the first division of the @GowranPark1 Handicap at 7.05, in the shape of the Tony Martin-trained Marvel Fan, who at 18/1 with BetVictor (who offer 5 places) is a great each-way price about a horse who ran a cracker on her seasonal debut at Navan recently.
The other division of that staying handicap at Navan 12 days ago was notable for the late gamble on winner All Class, from an opening show of 20/1 into 9/2. So, it seems Marvel Fan and the re-opposing Custers Mistake and Pour Sioux dodged a bullet that day, and they have been fortunate enough to do so again, as All Class is declared to turn out again in the second division of this race.
They did however bump into the well-treated Gavin Cromwell-trained Duchess Ravenwaves, and in finishing ahead of Marvel Fan, many would expect Custers Mistake and Pour Sioux to do so again, but given that Marvel Fan raced much more towards the unfavoured inside at Navan, she is well worth chancing each-way at 18/1 to turn around that form.
I am a sucker for a lowly-rated Tony Martin improver, and given Marvel Fan is a half-sister to the classy La Sorelita and was a winner over fences when trained by Guillame Macaire – at some stage she will wave goodbye to her basement rating of 45.
Siobhan Rutledge taking the ride is also a notable positive, as she has a record of 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third from just 7 rides for Tony Martin.