Aintree Trends & Free Tips – Day Three, Sat 10th April 2021

As we head into the last day of the 2021 Aintree Grand National Meeting on Saturday 10th April 2021 we’ve five more LIVE ITV races to enjoy.

The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle and The Doom Bar Maghall Novices’ Chase are always decent events, but really – it’s all about one race on the Saturday – the Randox Health Grand National.

As always here at RACING AHEAD we’ve got all the key stats for the main LIVE ITV races – these will help build-up a better profile of horses that have done well in each race over the years.

Good Luck!

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SATURDAY, 10th April 2021 (ITV/Racing TV)

2.20pm – Betway Mersey Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m4f ITV

2019 Winner: RESERVE TANK (20/1)
Trainer: Colin Tizzard
Jockey: Robbie Power

16/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 or older
15/17 – Raced 39 days or less ago
14/17 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
12/17 – Priced 9/2 or shorter in the market
13/17 – Placed in the top three last time out
11/17 – Raced in the Supreme (4), Neptune (6) or County Hurdle (1) last time out
7/17 – Favourites to win (2 joint) (6 of the last 10 favs have won)
7/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/17 – Trained by Willie Mullins
2/17 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (2 of the last 3)
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc two of last 9 runnings)
Ballymore Hurdle winners (Cheltenham Festival) are 4-from-4 since 1999
10 of the last 11 winners were placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd last time out
17 of the last 22 (77%) winners were either fav or 2nd fav
10 of the last 14 (71%) winners had won at least 3 times hurdles
14 of the last 21 (67%) winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival
15 of the last 23 (65%) winners finished 6th or better at the Cheltenham Festival that season
Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson have won 8 of the last 16 (50%) runnings between them
7 of the last 10 runnings went to a 5 year-old
Only 1 winning 4 year-old in the last 24 years
Only 2 winning 7 year-olds in the last 31 years
8 of the last 10 winners returned 9/2 or shorter

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: A decent Irish presence here with the improving Dreal Deal sure to be popular and has been freshened up after last being seen winning a Grade Two at Punchestown. He’s won on better ground too and keeps proving his doubters wrong so can’t be ruled out. Ballyadam is another leading Irish runner and with Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore teaming up is another that punters are sure to latch onto. This 6 year-old was last seen running second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and even though he was beaten 24 lengths that day, it’s still solid form. Adrimel was pulled up at Cheltenham last time but prior to that had improved to win his last three – he probably found the 3m too far last time, so the drop back in trip will help here, but the quicker ground would be a slight unknown. Of those that have potential – Jay Bee Why and Minella Drama – would be on the shortlist after good wins recently, while Straw Fan Jack is the only course winner in the field. I think there could also be more to come from the Nicky Henderson runner – PIPESMOKER (e/w). This 6 year-old is lightly-raced with just three runs over hurdles but had run well behind the likes of Sporting John and Chantry House in the past so has shown a fair level of form. The Henderson yard have done well in this race in the past too – winning it in 2011 and 2012, plus should be a lot sharper for his Sandown run in February that came off a year off. The Tizzard yard have done well in the race too – winning it in 2017 and 2019 – they run Striking A Pose. But the main call is the Dan Skelton runner – MY DROGO. This 6 year-old has won all three hurdles starts and the last of those was an impressive 9 ½ length win of Grade 2 at Kelso. The step up to 2m 4f looks sure to suit, having run on well the last day over 2m2f and he’s got winning for on quicker ground too. He’s the top-rated in the field too so everything points to a big run.

3.00pm – The Doom Bar Maghull Novices´ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m ITV

2019 Winner: ORNUA (3/1)
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: Davy Russell

17/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 or younger
17/17 – Winners from the first 3 in the market
17/17 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the market
14/17 – Won by a horse aged 7 or younger
14/17 – Ran within the last 35 days
12/17 – Placed in the top three in their last race
11/17 – Ran in the Arkle Chase last time out
10/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 or 6 years-old
7/17 – Won their last race
7/17 – Favourites that won
5/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
4/17 – Irish-trained winners
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc two of last 9 runnings)
3/17 – Won by the Henry de Bromhead yard (inc 3 of the last 7 runnings)
Arkle Chase winners have a good record – 5-7 in the last 21 years and 3-from-3 since 2008
Since 1989 there have been just 4 Irish-trained winners – 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2019
Since 1999 trainer Paul Nicholls has had 7 winners and 7 runners-up
19 of the last 25 (76%) winners ran in the Arkle Chase that season
7 of the last 11 winners were French bred
9 of the last 12 winners have won at least 3 times over fences
10 of the last 13 winners started their chasing careers with 7 or less runs over fences
Just 1 winner in the last 21 years finished unplaced last time out
Just 1 winner in the last 23 years returned 13/2 or bigger
No 9 year-old winner since 1973

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: This won’t take long – SHISHKIN will win this! This season’s star 2m Novice Chaser has done everything asked of him and was super-impressive in landing the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time. There is no reason why the Aintree track won’t suit and he’s fine on all ground types. Barring accidents he’ll be winning this with ease and is rated a full 19lbs higher than his nearest rival – Gumball. The last-named Philip Hobbs runner will, therefore, be one of those fighting it out for second, with Elivs Mail and the Venetia Williams-trained Funambule Sivola others of interest. If you are looking for a forecast option, then Funambule Sivola will edge it for me after winning well at Chepstow and Ascot recently, but he’s still got a massive amount of ground to make up with Shishkin.

3.35pm – The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Reg as the Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1) Cl1 3m110y ITV

2019 Winner: IF THE CAP FITS (7/1)
Trainer: Harry Fry
Jockey: Sean Bowen

14/16 – Priced 11/2 or less in the market
14/16 – Ran within the last 30 days
12/16 – Won or finished 2nd at this meeting previously
10/16 – Placed 4th or better in that season’s Stayers’ Hurdle (Cheltenham)
11/16 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
11/16 – Won by a horse aged 6 or 7 years-old
8/16 – Won their last race
8/16 – Favourites to win (6 odds-on)
6/16 – Raced in that season’s Cleeve Hurdle
4/16 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/16 – Trained by Alan King
2/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/16 – Number of Irish-trained winners
14 of the last 16 (88%) winners raced at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
15 of the last 16 (94%) winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 before
13 of the last 16 (81%) had run at this meeting before
13 of the last 16 (81%) were favourite or second favourite
7 of the last 11 winners won a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
6 of the last 11 winners won the Stayers’ Hurdle (Cheltenham) before winning this
Previous winners of the race are currently 5-from-5
Horses rated 170+ are currently 5-from-6
No winner older than 9 years-old

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: If The Cap Fits landed this race back in 2019, so can’t be totally ruled out, but has not been the most consistent of performers since. Rachael Blackmore has been booked to ride the former Staying Hurdler Lisnagar Oscar, who was last seen falling in that same race at the Festival. If none-the-worse for that tumble, he can go well. Roksana ran well in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival (3rd) – beaten just 3 lengths and was only beaten a head in this race in 2019. She gets a handy 7lbs mares’ allowance too and that brings her right into the mix. However, this looks a race that revolves around THYME HILL and Paisley Park, The last-named was a fair third in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival and before that had landed the Long Walk Hurdle – beating Thyme Hill by just a neck. Another big run looks on the cards, but he just seems to be hitting a flat-spot in his races for me and at this quicker track – even though he’s won here before – I just feel he might have more to do to make up the ground. So, the fresher Thyme Hill is the call. He missed the Festival, so heads here with a break of around 4 months and is a horse that’s gone well off a break in the past. He won on his first run back in November, when taking the Long Walk Hurdle – beating Paisley Park that day. He will love the better ground and having won 4 of his 6 starts over hurdles then could also have more in the locker too. At the age of 7 I just feel that he’s more at his prime, where Paisley Park might just be on a small downward curve. Of the rest, Third Wind, Thomas Darby and William Henry have place claims, but I’ll take a chance on VINNDICATION (e/w) as the bigger-priced danger. This 8 year-old will need to brush up his jumping after running 6th (15) in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival, but should be sharper for it and the blinkers on for the first time here are an interesting addition.

4.15pm – Betway Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 3m1f ITV

2019 Winner: KILDISART (8/1)
Trainer: Ben Pauling
Jockey: Daryl Jacob

14/17 – Carried 11-1 or less in weight
15/17 – Had run within the last 35 days
13/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 or older
10/17 – Priced 9/1 or bigger in the market
10/17 – Raced at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
10/17 – Unplaced in their last race
4/17 – Won their last race
3/17 – Favourites that won
3/17 – Won by the Philip Hobbs yard (3 of the last 10)
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
2/17 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable (4-from-9 since 2000)
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
Only 3 of the last 21 winners were aged 10+
Only 3 winners carried more than 11st in the last 16 years
Just 1 Irish-trained winner in the last 43 runnings
9 of the last 10 (90%) winners were rated between 131 and 140
10 of the last 13 winners didn’t win earlier that season
6 of the last 8 winners had won over 3m before
Only 2 of the last 14 winners won last time out

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: With 14 of the last 17 winners carrying 11st 1lb or less in weight, this is a fairly decent trend that knocks out the top six on the card – Top Notch, Sam Brown, Lalor, Ramses De Teillee and Happygolucky. Of that bunch, Happygolucky will be popular after running second in the Ultima Handicap at the Festival, but is up another 2lbs here and might just be creeping into the handicapper’s grasp. Top Notch also ran well at the Festival last time when third to The Shunter in the Paddy Power Plate. He’s a course winner here and despite having a lot of weight (11-12), has the useful 7lb claimer on – Luca Morgan – to help on that front. The 11 year-old Fagan has found a new lease of life after a good win at Newbury last time, but a 10lb rise for that looks a tad harsh. Cloudy Glen is another in good order after a second in the Kim Muir, but it’s interesting that 9 of the last 10 winners were rated between 131 and 140, so the two that catch the eye are SNOW LEOPARDESS (e/w) and HOLD THE NOTE (e/w). The former ran well to be fourth at the Festival – trying 3m6f that day. But should be more at home over this 3m 1f trip. Prior to that, he’d run well at Wetherby and Haydock, while Brian Hughes, who knows the horse well, is back in the saddle. Hold The Note was fourth in the Kim Muir last time but gets in here with 9lbs less in racing weight and looks the sort to still have more to come at the age of 7. Yes, he’s surprisingly yet to win a race over fences (10 runs), but has been placed in the top three in 50% of those – today can hopefully be his day!

5.15pm – The Randox Health Grand National Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 4m 2 ½f ITV

2019 Winner: TIGER ROLL (4/1 fav)
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Davy Russell

  • · 28/29 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
    · 28/29 – Officially rated 137 or higher
    · 27/29 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
    · 25/29 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
    · 24/29 – Aged 9 or older
    · 23/29 – Returned a double-figure price
    · 23/29 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
    · 22/29 – Carried 10-13 OR LESS
    · 21/29 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
    · 19/29 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
    · 18/29 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
    · 18/29 – Aged 10 years-old or younger
    · 16/29 – Placed favourites
    · 16/29 – Carried 10-8 OR LESS
    · 16/29 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
    · 15/29 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
    · 11/29 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
    · 10/29 – Trained in Ireland (inc 7 of the last 14 years)
    · 6/29 – Won by the favourite or joint favourite
    · 7/29 – Ran in a previous Grand National
    · 7/29 – Won last time out
    . 3/29 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
    · 2/29 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
    · 2/29 – Ridden by Davy Russell
    · 2/29 – Ridden by Leighton Aspell
    · 0/29 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS

Aintree Grand National Facts

  • Since 1978, 126 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012
  • 16 of the last 21 winners were bred in Ireland
  • Only 3 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
  • The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
  • 13 of the last 23 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
  • No horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
  • 3 of the last 11 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
  • 10 of the last 17 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
  • 5 of the last 18 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
  • Only four 8 year-olds have won the last 26 renewals
  • Just two past winners or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 35 years (77 have attempted)
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
  • Just two back-to-back winners since 1974 Red Rum (1974) and Tiger Roll (2019).
  • 10 of the last 12 winners were having their first run in the race
  • 19 of the last 24 winners were aged 8-10 years-old
  • 16 of the last 21 winners were Irish-bred
  • Gigginstown House Stud Owners are 3-from-4
  • Only 1 winning 12 year-old in the last 24 years
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen no more than twice before
  • Only 2 of the last 36 winners had won or been placed in a previous Grand National

Aintree Grand National Betting Trends (17 Year)

16/17 – Had won over at least 3m previously
15/17 – Ran less than 50 days ago
15/17 – Officially rated 137 or higher
14/17 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
10/17 – Winners from the top 8 in the betting
10/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
9/17 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/17 – Experienced the National fences before
7/17 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
7/17 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
5/17 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/17 – Won by the Gordon Elliott yard
2/17 – Won by the McCain yard

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Right, onto the big one! With 40 runners, it’s a race the trends will hopefully help us whittle down the runners. Firstly, with the last 7 year-old to win the race being in 1940, then I’m happy to put a line through this season’s Welsh National winner – Secret Reprieve (reserve), the Denise Foster-trained Farclas and The Long Mile. Next up is ‘days’ last ran’ – as 28 of the last 29 winners ran no more than 55 days ago. Of course, it’s probably okay to give a few days grace on this stat, but there are several that fall way outside it – Bristol De Mai, Yala Enki, Kimberlite Candy, Takingrisks, Discorama, Vieux Lion Rouge, Minellacelebration, Give Me A Copper, Minella Times and Kauto Riko. You can also take this stat a bit further, by looking for horses that ran 34 days or less ago – 23 of the last 29 winners ticked this trend. In recent years, there has been the odd winner aged 11 (3 since 2012), but we’ve only had one winner aged 12 since 1996 – therefore, I’m happy to rule out Definitly Red, Takingrisks, Vieux Lion Rouge, Sub Lieutenant and Blaklion. Next up is weight. Tiger Roll won his last National in 2019 with 11st 5lbs, and Many Clouds defied his 11st 9lbs to win in 2015, while since 2009 6 of the 11 winners had 11st or more. So, a small word of caution here. But the fact is, 22 of the last 29 winners still had 10st 13lbs or less on their backs – is this is to be repeated, then the top seven on the card can be dismissed. However, with Bristol De Mai carrying 11st 10lbs and The Storyteller having 11st 8lbs these two are probably up against it. We’ve also got the 2019 runner-up – Magic Of Light – in the race, so we know the track and fences suit. But he’s rated 5lbs higher than a few years ago, while horses that have been placed in the previous race don’t have a great record of going onto then win it. Of course, there is a certain amount of luck involved in the race too, with 39 other runners to contend with as well as the tricky fences, but it’s a race I like to have a shortlist of five for – here they are.

CLOTH CAP – Okay, this is going to be sent off a short favourite, but he’s a horse that ticks a lot of the main trends and it’s hard to crab his chance – barring the fact he’s not great value in the betting, but the horse doesn’t know that. Of course, he’ll have to keep out of trouble and jump round, but this Jonjo O’Neill-trained 9 year-old has improved loads this season. He was third to the subsequent King George VI Chase winner – Frodon – back in October, and has since won his last two at Newbury and Kelso. If the handicapper could reassess him now, he’d be putting him up a fair bit, so the fact he gets in here off the same mark as his recent 7 ½ length Kelso win gives him and obvious chance. Then, with some 160+ rated horses – like Bristol Dai Mai – in the race, he gets in here with just 10st 5lbs to carry! Those against him, might look to the trip – this will be the furthest he’s gone to date, but let’s not forget he was a close third in the 2019 Scottish National over 4m! Ground is fine and jockey Tom Scudamore, who is yet to win the National, is now one of the more experienced riders in the weighing room and is currently 2-from-2 on the horse. The icing on the cake is that he’s owned by a certain Trevor Hemmings, who has three Grand Nationals under his belt already (Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds). Those three previous Aintree wins were all for different trainers too – something he’ll be looking to do here with Jonjo O’Neill, but it’s worth remembers O’Neill is also no stranger to landing this prize – having taken it in 2010 with Don’t Push It.    

BURROWS SAINT – This 8 year-old already has a National on his record – the Irish version, that he won in 2019. He took that as a 6 year-old, but is now 2 years older and ticking a lot of boxes for the Aintree National. From the powerful Willie Mullins yard, this Ricci-owned stayer won’t have any stamina issues and has good form on quicker ground too. He’s fit and well after a decent second to his stablemate Acapella Bourgeois at Fairyhouse last time out, so should be spot on for this. With 10st 13lbs he’s on the cusp of the weight trend, but has age on his side and could certainly have more to offer.

POTTERS CORNER – Stamina won’t be an issue for this former Midlands and Welsh National winner, while having run well over the Cross Country course at Cheltenham in December, then there’s every chance he’ll love the Aintree fences. Yes, pulled up the last day at Exeter, but that was over hurdles – back over fences and up in trip will be more to his liking. The ground will be fine, but also handles soft should there be any rain, while the first-time blinkers are in interesting addition. Jack Tudor, who knows the horse well, remains in the saddle. We’ve also seen three 11 year-olds win the race since 2012, so his age isn’t too much of a concern either.

MILAN NATIVE – Owned by the Gigginstown House Stud, who have been responsible for three of the last four winners. We last saw him running down the field in the Ultima Handicap at the Festival, but he also lost a shoe during that race, so had an excuse. It was also his first run for 2 ½ months and also his first after a wind op. We know staying the trip is worth a crack as he landed the 2020 Kim Muir over 3m2f at the Festival. He’s also another that gets in with a low weight (10st 6lbs). Yes, he’s got a bit to prove based on recent runs, but he’s also had a few excuses in those races and with just a light burden and coming from connections that love this race, he might be worth chancing. Jamie Codd riding is the icing on the cake!

CANELO – This Alan King runner looks another interesting contender as he bids to give his popular owner – JP McManus – his second win in the race. This 8 year-old has had a decent season and was last seen running well to be third in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. The trip is a bit of an unknown, but really that applies to most in the field and at just 8 years-old there should be more improvement in this horse. His better form has been on a slightly quicker surface too, but the big plus is that he gets in here with only 10st 4lbs to carry – that’s 16lbs less in racing weight than his last run at Donny.

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