Today sees the start of the prestigous three-day Grand National meeting at Aintree, Liverpool. But there’s other action around the country to consider too. Mal Boyle has gone through every racecard for today and here are his pointers for…
Ruby Walsh is the only current jockey to have ridden two winners of the Grand National (Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter in 2005) and the Irish jockey also leads the number of winners during the entire three-day Aintree meeting. Leading riders at the Aintree Festival:
Juvenile hurdle scheduled for 2.00: Seven of the last eight favourites have prevailed! Alan King has saddled three of those winners and Alan’s only option earlier in the week was his course and distance winner L’Unique.
Grade 1 three-mile one furlong chase scheduled for 2.30: Only one (6/4) favourite has prevailed during the last decade. Going back further in time, just three market leaders have scored in the last twenty years though to be entirely fair, twelve gold medallists were returned at odds of 11/2 or less during the study period. Nicky Henderson has never won this event whilst Paul Nicholls has won the race twice in 2000 (See More Business) and 2010 (What A Friend).
Aintree Hurdle scheduled for 3.05: Twenty one of the twenty-six winners have been returned at odds of 9/1 or less, statistics which include nine favourites of one description or another. Oscar Whiskey comes into the race on a hat trick for Nicky Henderson (the only winner he has saddled in the contest), whilst Irish trainers have won six renewals during the last decade.
Foxhunter’s Chase due to be contested at 3.40: Favourites have won nine of the last twenty-three renewals (39.1%) which is a great record given that this race is contested over the National fences. Eight of the last nine winners have been aged in double figures.
Red Rum Handicap Chase scheduled for 4.15: Five market leaders have prevailed via the last eleven contests. Paul Nicholls was winning this race for the first time with Edgardo Sol last year, with the gold medallist being one of four possible runners for Paul this time around. Twelve of the last thirteen winners have carried a maximum burden of 11-2.
Grade 1 novice chase event scheduled for 4.50: We still await the first successful favourite following four renewals.
Grade 3 three-mile handicap hurdle scheduled for 5.25: Only four of the last nineteen favourites have obliged. Nicky Henderson held no fewer than nine entries at the time of writing in another Aintree race that the trainer has never won. Six-year-olds have won three of the last six renewals.
TAUNTON NH DETAILS FOR 2013:
Number of races at Taunton: 33
Favourite stats: 19 (57.6%–includes joint and co favourites)
Odds on ratio: 8/10 (80.0%)
Trainers of winners at Taunton in 2013:
4–Paul Nicholls: (7/4*-5/6*-6/5*-4/7*)
4–Venetia Williams (6/4*-5/4*-4/6*-4/6*)
3–David Pipe (2/1*-8/11*-7/2)
3–Evan Williams (10/1-25/1-10/3)
2–Colin Tizzard (7/2* & 9/4)
1–Kevin Bishop (6/1)
1–Kate Buckett (7/4*)
1–Vic Dartnell (8/1)
1–Chris Down (3/1*)
1–Alexandra Dunn (5/1)
1–Harry Fry (9/4)
1–Nicky Henderson (1/7*)
1–Philip Hobbs (4/5*)
1–Susan Johnson (14/1)
1–Richard Lee (11/4*)
1–Bernard Llewellyn (4/1*)
1–Charlie Mann (11/4)
1–Dr Richard Newland (6/1)
1–Fergal O’Brien (14/1)
1–Paul Webber (4/9*)
1–Miss J. Western (4/1)
1–Laura Young (9/4*)
30/33 winners were returned at odds of 10/1 or less thus far, twenty-eight of which were sent off at a top price of 6/1
Trainers of beaten favourites:
3–Philip Hobbs (15/8-6/4-Evs)
3–Paul Nicholls (6/4-5/6-4/6)
2–Chris Down (10/3 & 5/2)
1–Kevin Bishop (4/1***)
1–Alex Hales (4/1***)
1–Dr Richard Newland (6/4)
1–Mrs Sue Popham (2/1)
1–Tom Symonds (2/1)
1–Nigel Twiston-Davies (4/1***)
1–Tim Vaughan (2/1)
1–Evan Williams (9/4)
Ryan Moore’s strike rate at Lingfield stands at 25% at the time of writing via fifty-three winners at the Surrey venue.
David O’Meara held five entries at Dunstall Park earlier in the week, the trainer having earned a 26% strike rate at the track during the last five years.