After an interesting first day of the festival, we’re back with our preview and tips for Day 2 of the 2021 Randox Grand National Festival from Aintree in the UK. We had a couple of winners but there were a few blowout results on Day 1, so we’ll be looking for another strong showing on Friday.
The team from @tips4punters are the experts in UK racing and they bring us their preview and analysis for Day 2 which starts late Friday night Australian time.
Race 1: Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
Friday 10:45pm AEST
Its Day 2 of the Randox Grand National 2021 meeting starting off with Grade 3 action with the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle. (1) Wilde About Oscar trained by Dan Skelton has been unbeaten over hurdles with a winning switch to handicap company at Uttoxeter last race.
(2) Edwardstone was 5th in the Grade 3 County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Prior to that was 3rd in the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. That’s decent 2m handicap form in the book and he is the pick.
Another runner worth a mention is (14) Solwara One.
Race 2: Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Friday 11:20pm AEST
(6) Dusart was a winner on debut at Newbury at the backend of 2020. He had Soaring Glory behind him in this race with Soaring Glory going on to win the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle in February. Plenty more to come.
(1) Ajero is another with more to come. He’s a winner of his last 4 races. Last seen destroying 3 rivals by 8 ½ lengths in a Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon last month.
(8) Third Time Lucki was 6th on his handicap debut in the Grade 3 County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Big win at Kempton on Boxing Day in a Novices’ Hurdle. Jump in grade but capable for me.
(10) Houx Gris also gets a mention, 4th in a Grade 3 race at the Cheltenham Festival. On his second start for trainer Paul Nicholls, previously trained in France.
Race 3: Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Friday 11:50pm AEST
(1) Chantry House was a winner of the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (the big fav for the race Envoi Allen was a faller that day). Will be favourite for the race and has a great chance stepping up in trip.
Am siding with the Dan Skelton trained (5) Shan Blue who was a winner of the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day over 3 miles. Prior that was 2nd to Sporting John (faces him again in this race) in a Grade 1 at Sandown in February (over 2m 4f).
As mentioned, (7) Sporting John runs up against Shan Blue again but I expect Shan Blue to get the better of him this time round. Should run well but was a faller in his last race at Cheltenham.
Race 4: Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) (Grade 1)
Saturday 12:25am AEST
(3) Fakir D’oudairies trained by two time Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien was 2nd in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, beaten by the very impressive Allaho that day. Expect him to go well again.
Front runner (1) Dashel Drasher was a winner of the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on his last start with (5) Master Tommytucker in 2nd that day.
Lovely grey (8) Politologue trained by Paul Nicholls is a two-time Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) winner. Last seen running 2nd in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Has won this race before in 2018 and has since had another spin around Aintree back in 2019 and was placed. The popular grey looks primed for this after a break.
Race 5: Randox Topham Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Saturday 1:05am AEST
A huge field of 28 runners in this one run over the Grand National fences. I just want to concentrate on two that I believe have a great chance. Firstly, the Nicky Henderson trained (4) Caribean Boy who was last seen running 7th in the Festival Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. Caught the eye staying on. Winner of a small field Grade 2 back in November at Newbury. Needs to improve but no reason why he can’t.
Willie Mullins runner (8) Liveloughlaugh knows about these fences as he ran in the Grand National 2019 when 11th completing the course. That experience is a big plus and is set to go well in this.
Race 6: Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Saturday 1:40am AEST
I really like the look of (8) Gallyhill in this. Purchased for £450,000 after one PTP (Point-to-Point) win. Winner and 2nd in a Novice’s Hurdle since. Was beaten by (9) Midnight River on his last start but excuse for that race.
(4) Bravemansgame was 3rd to 2 nice Irish horses in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Prior to that he romped home in the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury at the backend of last year. Until the Cheltenham Festival he had completed a hattrick of wins in 2020. Contender.
Race 7: Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle
Saturday 2:15am AEST
20 plus runners in the last of the day probably headed by (17) Copperless in the betting, up 6lb but he looks a horse on the up winning his last 2 races at Market Rasen and Taunton. Will be on people’s shortlist for this.
Am siding with (3) Leoncavallo though who is trained by Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland. After a lengthy break was a decent 6th out of 24 runners in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival. Not to be dismissed.
Quick mention for the mare (5) Tomorrow Mystery (recent wind op).