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Grand National Festival Timefigure Preview: Day Two

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Graeme North previews the second day of the 2024 Grand National Festival from a timefigure perspective and highlights his best bet on the card.

I wrote in my preview yesterday of the great uncertainty facing punters on the opening day of Randox Grand National meeting - the wellbeing of the Nicky Henderson stable, the dominant yard at the meeting over the past 20 years – but that quandary doesn’t loom quite so large over the second day as well after Henderson sent out Sir Gino to win the four-year-old hurdle and Shishkin to finish fourth in the Bowl.

The second day seems trickier on the face of things than the first with three fiendish-looking handicaps but the Graded races seem possible to crack, though I’m inclined to swerve the opening Mildmay Novices’ Chase, a Grade 1 event over three miles. A select six go to post, including a couple who won at Cheltenham, and there isn’t a lot between them either on Timeform performance ratings or early betting which has the outsider of the six, Giovinco, no bigger than 10-1, a price that may well contract given his stablemate Ahoy Senor’s excellent run in the Bowl.

Inothewayuthinkin, who landed a monumental gamble in the Kim Muir, is the early favourite and ought not to be inconvenienced by the drop back in trip given that he finished third to Arkle winner Gaelic Warrior over two miles five furlongs at Limerick over Christmas but a decent gallop has looked important to him so far and with Timeform’s pace forecast – based on the past running styles of the horses - being ‘very weak’ that might well not be in his favour.

Impressive Dublin Racing Festival winner Heart Wood, Ultima winner Chianti Classico as well as Brown Advisory third Giovinco are among three of the other five runners rated within 4lb of Inothewayurthinkin on Timeform ratings but it is the one who isn’t – Iroko – who tops the field on the clock on his fifth behind Grey Dawning in the Turners at Cheltenham.

Given that was Iroko’s first run and just second over fences since November on the back of a rushed preparation, it’s not unreasonable to think that he’ll improve a good deal from that back up at a more suitable trip and his close fourth in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at this meeting last year, on the back of a success in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham, confirms a liking for the course. A price of 4-1 isn’t enough to tempt me, however, given how easily Arkle third Il Etait Temps left the Turners one-two for dead on the opening day.

Jonbon heads the time ratings in the Melling Chase and it’s good to see him belatedly tried at two and a half miles. The only three defeats he has suffered have all come at Cheltenham (he has won twice at Aintree at this fixture) and his jumping didn’t come up to scratch in the Clarence House when last seen and he ended up having a far harder race than connections would have wanted as he scrambled back into contention.

His jumping shouldn’t be put under the microscope quite so much over this longer trip, but he’ll have to be at the top of his game to beat the one-two from the Ryanair, Protektorat and Envoi Allen. A two from three record at Aintree suggests that Protektorat might get the better of that particular battle again. Pic D’Orhy won this race last year but he’s unlikely to have his own way in front and will do well to follow up. No bet is the call.

I was very keen on the chances of Mystical Power in the Supreme and wasn’t too disappointed by his second place behind Slade Steel, for all he looked likely to go one better for several strides after jumping to the front at the last. He sets the standard here on that form - for all the third home that day, Firefox, would likely have finished closer with a clearer run through and a better pace to chase - but general quotes of 15-8 don’t exactly get the juices flowing.

Mistergif is another who ran (finished fifth) in the Supreme who might get closer given his inexperience going into that race but the one who looks overpriced is Dysart Enos. She didn’t run at Cheltenham having gone lame on the morning of the Mares’ Novices' Hurdle but there are good grounds for thinking that she would have been very hard to beat had she participated. She was easily the best of her sex domestically in bumpers last season by my calculations, winning a hot Grade 2 race at this fixture in a very fast timefigure followed home by numerous next-time-out winners by wide margins. Indeed, the second horse home that day, Golden Ace, beaten nine lengths, was the main beneficiary of Dysart Enos’ absence at Cheltenham, winning the Mares' Novice in some style.

Dysart Enos didn’t look the most fluent on her hurdling debut, but she’s got better since and missing Cheltenham might well have been a blessing in disguise in the respect that connections will have had more time to perfect her technique at home. Golden Ace enters calculations on the clock on her Mares' win when her 7lb mares allowance is factored in and so too in spades does Dysart Enos who cantered past her to the front in that bumper last year.

The final Grade 1 of the afternoon, the Sefton Novices' Hurdle, has attracted the second and third from the Albert Bartlett, The Jukebox Man and Dancing City (separated by seven lengths), as well as the horse that started a very well-backed favourite (Readin Tommy Wrong) but ran no race at all.

Whether The Jukebox Man is quite as good as that run makes him look remains to be seen given he had a very easy time of things in front, the lack of pace contributing to Readin Tommy Wrong racing too keenly, yet despite that concern, and the presence of the strong galloping Pertemps runner-up Kyntara in opposition, he heads the early betting. If that Albert Bartlett run was just too bad to be true then Readin Tommy Wrong has to go close given his Lawlor’s Of Naas win just about sets the standard on the clock but that Albert Bartlett run was a tough one to forgive and I’ll stay with Dysart Enos for just the one bet.

Recommended bet

1pt win Dysart Enos in 2.55 at Aintree (5-1 general)

 
 

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Free Daily Race Pass (Result)

CURRAGH 15:45

Sunday 26 May
7. FALLEN ANGEL 1st
Daniel Tudhope silk Daniel Tudhope
K. R. Burke
1. A LILAC ROLLA (IRE) 2nd
C. T. Keane silk C. T. Keane
P. Twomey, Ireland
9. OPERA SINGER (USA) 3rd
Ryan Moore silk Ryan Moore
Aidan O'Brien, Ireland
Go to full race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

17:45 KELSO

1st Henry Brooke silk 1. GALE MAHLER (IRE) 5/42.25f
2nd Conor O'Farrell silk 2. BEAU DELLA (IRE) 85/403.12
3rd Mr John Dawson silk 6. LEWESDON DANCER 25/126
J: Henry Brooke  
All 11 ran.
FULL RESULT

17:35 FONTWELL PARK

1st Jonjo O'Neill Jr. silk 3. CAWTHORNE BANKER (IRE) 7/42.75f
2nd Freddie Gordon silk 1 1. HAPPY BOY (FR) 85/403.12
3rd Rex Dingle silk 12 6. SARSEN (USA) 6/17
All 8 ran.
FULL RESULT

17:25 CURRAGH

1st G. F. Carroll silk 11. FAIRYTALE PRINCESS (IRE) 20/121
2nd C. D. Hayes silk 14. GRAPPA NONINO (IRE) 10/111
3rd N. M. Crosse silk 19. RAIN (GER) 14/115
4th Shane Foley silk 6. BAY OF SANIBEL (GER) 4/15jf
17 ran. NRs: 2  5 
FULL RESULT

17:20 UTTOXETER

1st Harry Skelton silk 1. MR HOPE STREET (IRE) 5/42.25f
2nd K. Brogan silk 1 8. GETAWAY WITH YOU 7/24.5
T: Dan Skelton  
7 ran. NRs: 7 
FULL RESULT

17:10 KELSO

1st Mr Milo Herbert silk 5. YIPPEE KI YAY (IRE) 1/12f
2nd Mr John Dawson silk 4. SUPER CITIZEN 10/111
3rd Miss Ellie Callwood silk ½ 6. BOTHWELL BRIDGE (IRE) 11/43.75
J: Mr Milo Herbert (7)  
9 ran. NRs: 2  7 
FULL RESULT

17:00 FONTWELL PARK

1st Adam Wedge silk 6. DANZINI (IRE) 4/15
2nd Ben Godfrey silk 3. DEAR RALPHY (IRE) 5/16
J: Adam Wedge  
T: Keiran Burke  
All 7 ran.
FULL RESULT

16:50 CURRAGH

1st Ben Martin Coen silk 3. HANALIA (IRE) 11/26.5
2nd Ryan Moore silk 4. LILY HART (IRE) 2/13f
3rd C. D. Hayes silk 8. SIDIZA (IRE) 8/19
8 ran. NRs: 5 
FULL RESULT

16:45 UTTOXETER

1st Chris Ward silk 7. CHEF DE TROUPE (FR) 18/119
2nd Sean Bowen silk 1. HOMME D'UN SOIR (FR) 5/23.5
J: Chris Ward (3)  
T: Tony Forbes  
6 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT

16:35 KELSO

1st Danny McMenamin silk 5. BARON BRIGGS (IRE) 9/43.25f
2nd Henry Brooke silk 7. DERWENT DEALER (IRE) 15/28.5
7 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results