Aintree Ladies Day 2014
Sat, Mar 29th, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - Entries and confirmations are revealed today for the second day of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, Ladies Day, Friday, April 4.
Ladies Day features no less than three Grade One contests, one Grade Two event plus two Grade Three handicaps including the Crabbie's Topham Chase over the Grand National fences.
There are 51 horses remaining in the £120,000 Crabbie's Topham Chase (3.40pm). Smart novice Double Ross (Nigel Twiston-Davies) currently jointly-heads the ante-post market with Betfred, official betting partner of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, following a fine third in the Grade One JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The other 10/1 joint-favourite is Lost Legend (Jonjo O'Neill), a comfortable winner at Kempton Park on March 15.
It has been nine years since an Irish-trained horse won the Crabbie's Topham Chase, with
Cregg House causing a 50/1 shock in 2005. There are five Irish-trained contenders remaining in the extended two mile and five furlong contest, including He'llberemembered (Paul Fahey, 20/1). The 11-year-old won the valuable Leopardstown Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs on January 25 before coming home third over the same course and distance on March 2.
Fahey is looking forward to saddling his first runner at Aintree and said today: "It is the plan to bring He'llberemembered over to Aintree for Crabbie's Topham Chase. It has been the plan since he won at Leopardstown in January.
"He is perfect at the moment and we are delighted with him. Obviously, it will be his first start over the National fences and we don't know what way he is going to take to them. However, he jumps well and has never fallen in Ireland.
"We are looking forward to it and if he takes to the National fences, we would be hopeful of a very good run.
"We plan to use the Aintree schooling fence at the Curragh on Monday morning. He's won on ground ranging from good to firm, to soft and heavy. He struggles with a trip in very deep ground and I think he is probably best on better ground. I don't think the ground at Aintree should be any problem for him.
"He will be my first runner over the Grand National fences and it is all very exciting."
Champion trainer Nicky Henderson, successful 12 months ago with Triolo D'Alene, has three remaining entries including Ma Filleule (12/1), who was a good second in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The master of Seven Barrows also has Tanks For That (20/1) and Giorgio Quercus (16/1).
The maximum field size for the Crabbie's Topham Chase is 30.
Crabbie's Topham Chase - Betfred bet: 10 Double Ross, Lost Legend, 12 Ma Filleule, 16 Ballybough Gorta, Cedre Bleu, Champion Court, Giorgio Quercus, Last Time d'Albain, Poole Master, Rebel Rebellion, Standing Ovation, Your Busy, 20 Big Fella Thanks, Doeslessthanme, Dunowen Point, Eastlake, Fago, He'llberemembered, Tahiti Pearl, Tanks For That, Tatenen, You Must Know Me, 25 Bishopsfurze, Gansey, Kian's Delight, Mart Lane, Minella For Value, Soll, Swift Arrow, Wetak, 33 Bennys Mist, Brass Tax, Buthelezi, Kauto Stone, Massini's Maguire, Pacha Du Polder, Real Milan, Renard, Sir Du Bearn, Swing Bill, Tiptoeaway, Viva Colonia, 40 King Edmund, Lucky Landing, Max Bygraves, Mister Grez, 50 Be My Deputy, Coolking, Fredo, Solix, 66 Balinroab Each-Way ¼ 1-2-3-4
2.00pm £100,000 ifb2004.com Top Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 110y
A high-class entry of 24 includes Lac Fontana (Paul Nicholls), winner of the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and his stablemate Irving, who was disappointing in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the same meeting but was previously unbeaten over hurdles. The Supreme Novices' Hurdle form is also represented by the second from that race Josses Hill (Nicky Henderson) and the fourth Sgt Reckless (Mick Channon).
Baltimore Rock (David Pipe) won the ultra-competitive Imperial Cup at Sandown Park on March 8 but while the best hopes of a northern-trained success could lie with Clever Cookie (Peter Niven), a Grade Two winner at Kelso last time out.
2.30pm £90,000 Betfred Mobile Mildmay Novices' Chase (Grade 1), 3m 1f
The 10 entries include O'Faolains Boy (Rebecca Curtis) who landed the Grade One RSA Chase at Cheltenham.
Another Cheltenham winner who could line up is Holywell (Jonjo O'Neill), who defeated seasoned opposition when successful in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase.
Uxizandre (Alan King) went down by three-quarters of a length in the JLT Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, a race in which Wonderful Charm (Paul Nicholls) was fifth.
3.05pm £200,000 Betfred Melling Chase (Grade 1), 2m 4f
There are 13 entries for the richest race of the day, the £200,000 Betfred Melling Chase over two and a half miles.
Module (Tom George) ran well when third in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham (with Wishfull Thinking (Philip Hobbs) in fifth) and should appreciate the extra half mile at Aintree. Ballynagour (David Pipe) was a comfortable winner of the Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham and looks an improving horse while Rajdhani Express (Nicky Henderson) was third in the Ryanair Chase.
There are fourth Irish-trained entries including dual Grade One scorer Boston Bob (Willie Mullins) and Baily Green (Mouse Morris) who was travelling well when falling four out in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.
4.15pm £100,000 Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m 110y
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle third Apache Jack (Dessie Hughes) and Grade One runner-up Renneti (Willie Mullins) feature among 28 entries for the Grade One Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle, which was won last year by subsequent Ladbrokes World Hurdle third At Fishers Cross.
Other notable contenders include Killala Quay (Charlie Longsdon), who was fourth in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Cole Harden (Warren Greatrex) and Seeyouatmidnight (Sandy Thomson).
4.50pm £50,000 Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 4f
Betfair Hurdle hero Splash Of Ginge (Nigel Twiston-Davies) could bid for another major prize in the Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle, which has attracted 54 entries. Grade Two winner Irish Saint (Paul Nicholls) and 2011 Weatherbys Champion Bumper scorer Cheltenian (Philip Hobbs), who were third and fourth in the Betfair Hurdle, could re-oppose Splash Of Ginge, while First In The Queue (Nicky Henderson) could bid for a third straight victory.
5.25pm £30,000 Concerto Group Mares' Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed) 2m 1f
The 32 entries for the concluding race on Ladies Day include a large number of unbeaten contenders including Twentytwo´s Taken (Stuart Crawford) and Hannah´s Princess (Warren Greatrex) who have both been most impressive in winning their two starts to date.
Following four millimetres of rain overnight, the going at Aintree is currently:
Mildmay Course & Hurdle Course - Good to Soft
Grand National Course - Good to Soft, Soft in places
Andrew Tulloch, Regional Head of Racing North West and Clerk of the Course, reported today: "Following the rain overnight, conditions have eased.
"The rest of the weekend is predicted to be largely dry and sunny so I would expect conditions to return to where they were fairly soon, possibly by tomorrow.
"The forecast for the first half of next week remains unsettled, with sunshine and showers expected."
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