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|Two For Gold||8/18/1||Ante Post
EW 4 places 1/4
Grand Sefton Chase - Aintree - Sat 5th Nov
|Place BetPlace Bet|
Date of Tips: 01/11/2022
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (13:59 01/11/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It’s the 1st of November and finally the weather has broken – deluges aplenty last night, including at Aintree racecourse where they recorded 11.6mm. On top of that, they are forecasting between 10-20mm in the next three days, and then more rain on race day on Saturday.
All told, I’d be very surprised if we’re not talking about soft ground at the very least there this weekend, if not verging on heavy. This changing of conditions has led me to take a deeper look at Saturday’s Boylesports Best Odds Guaranteed On Racing Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at 2.11 at Aintree.
The first viewing of the iconic National fences of the season of course, but it won’t be the first view of them for a number of the entries, and it is one of those with previous experience at the unique track, that I believe represents the best value at this stage.
It is top weight Two For Gold, who at 8/1 each-way generally for 4 places should be vying for favouritism in my eyes. The price and the place terms both might be worth securing now, given the likely defections of the sound surface-loving horses.
Among the 21 entries, I could only find 4 horses who will be able to reproduce anything near their best form on a very testing surface – the aforementioned Two For Gold, the Paul Nicholls-trained Broken Halo (who bled when put under pressure in the deepest race he encountered last season), Kiltealy Briggs (who would be a bet at 14/1 with William Hill, but for the owner suggesting he is more unlikely than likely to run), and High Up In The Air (who has wellbeing and class to prove in a race like this.)
Obviously, the lightly raced Broken Halo might have had extenuating circumstances for his Lingfield flop, and he could be a different proposition given the magic that Paul Nicholls can so often work. But as ante-post favourite, he has to be opposed.
Of the others, Lifetime Ambition represents a stable that might just be having a quiet spell, and also has an entry at Down Royal. Lostintranslation is classy on his day but won’t want it too testing, so too the likes of Al Dancer and Senior Citizen, while Coopers Cross is a potentially interesting improver but owing to the presence of selection and top weight Two For Gold, he will be a long way out of the handicap.
Two For Gold’s form is light years beyond what most of his potential opposition can offer up, as his Grade 1 2nd to Fakir D’Oudairies at Ascot last season illustrates. He loves soft or heavy ground, so much so that in 9 starts on ground described that way, he has only been out of the first two in any race on one of those occasions.
Two For Gold represents Kim Bailey, who was operating at a strike rate of 27% in October, and given this is Two For Gold’s first start of the season, maybe race fitness could be a doubt – but rarely do runners from this yard lack fitness, and Two For Gold has a very good record fresh too.
Crabbers would point to the fact that in two starts over the National fences, he is yet to complete, but that is through no fault of his jumping, as he has actually jumped the big famous fences with real aplomb. In the 2021 Topham Chase, David Bass squeezed out the side door at the Canal Turn, and then he just didn’t stay the trip in last season’s Grand National.
At 8/1 each-way generally for 4 places, Two For Gold has to have a much better chance than those odd imply, given his class, ability and love of mud!