Tom Scudamore Blog | Aintree Day Three

12 Apr 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Tom Scudamore, previews the race from the third day of the Grand National Meeting at Aintree, including his fancy in The Grand National itself.

13:20 Aintree – Handicap Hurdle

I’d have massive respect for Johnnywho in this, and I thought he’d run a big race in the Albert Bartlett, but things just didn’t pan out for him that day. Having said that, the one I really like here is Gwennie May Boy for Dan Skelton. He won well last time at Uttoxeter, I think Aintree will suit him, and this is only his third start for Dan, and when these types of horses start improving, you just never quite know where the improvement is going to end.

13:55 Aintree – Mersey Novices' Hurdle

It will be fascinating to see how Caldwell Potter gets on here after he was bought for a record amount of money for a national hunt horse, and I’m sure connections will be hoping he can earn a little bit of that money back at Aintree this weekend. He clearly comes here with a good chance, but I’d side with his old stablemate Betterdaysahead in this. Gordon Elliott has made no secret of the esteem he holds this mare in, and I suspect if Jack Kennedy could ride that race at Cheltenham again, he probably would. She goes back up in trip here which I think will suit, and I suspect she’ll return to winning ways on Saturday.

14:30 Aintree – Handicap Chase

I’m sure Crebilly will be very popular in this after his run at Cheltenham, but he just didn’t jump with the same fluency that he has in the past, and I think ultimately that’s what cost him. He’d have a huge chance if he gets into a better rhythm here, but at the prices I think I’d rather be with the Coral Trophy winner Forward Plan. I was really impressed with him that day, and the fact he’s skipped Cheltenham and come straight here puts a big tick in his box for me.

15:05 Aintree – Liverpool Hurdle

Even though he doesn’t have the same level of form at the highest level as the majority of the other runners, I’d take a chance on Botox Has here at a bit of a price. He won very impressively at Haydock the last day, and if the ground is similarly testing here, then I think he’s capable of running a big race. I’d say Sire Du Berlais will be the main danger, and even at the age of 12, I thought he ran a very good race in the Stayers Hurdle last time, so I’d have enormous respect for him.

16:00 Aintree – The Grand National

It’s a case of my head and my heart being in unison here, and I really do think Corach Rambler will win his second Grand National. He was as an impressive winner of the Grand National as I’ve ever seen last year, and although he has to shoulder a lot more weight this year, that wouldn’t overly concern me. He might have appreciated slightly better ground here, but he ran a cracker in the Gold Cup on testing ground last month, and that should have put him spot on for this.

I suppose the only slight concern I’d have would be that he does have his own ideas, and he’s a bit of a character, so it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that he gets there and just decides he doesn’t fancy doing it again after last year. Having said that, I think his form coming into the race this year has been excellent, and providing he keeps his mind on the job, then I think he can join that exclusive club of horses that have retained their Grand National crown.

I think the main danger will be Meetingofthewaters for Willie Mullins, but if I had to take a swing at one at a price, I’d go with one of Gordon Elliott’s in the shape of Chemical Energy. I know we haven’t seen him since the Kerry National, but he’s always struck me as a Grand National horse, and I suspect they’ve been wanting to keep him fresh for this for a little while.

17:00 Aintree – Maghull Novices' Chase

Etalon is very interesting stepping up to this higher level, but I think I’ll just side with the McManus horse Hercule Du Seuil. He ran up a proper sequence in graded races in Ireland last year, and he comes here very fresh after a break, so I’m sure Willie Mullins will have him primed for this assignment. The form of his win at Punchestown in October hasn’t worked out brilliantly, but he’s a young horse who should still be improving, and I think he’s capable of making it six wins on the bounce in this.

17:35 Aintree – National Hunt Flat Race

I can’t really get away from Mister Meggit here, and I’d have definitely fancied him if they’d have taken him to Cheltenham. He’s won his two starts to date in the fashion of a very classy horse, and both of those wins came on testing ground, so I don’t suspect conditions will be a problem for him. Tripoli Flyer is another who really impressed me last time when winning at Lingfield on the all-weather, but I suspect they took him there because he wants decent ground, so he might not be seen to best effect in these conditions.

Tom Scudamore, Coral Racing Ambassador
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