Tom Scudamore Blog | Aintree Day Two

11 Apr 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Tom Scudamore, provides an exclusive preview of each race on the second day of the Grand National Meeting at Aintree, including the Grade 1 Melling Chase.

13:45 Aintree – Mildmay Novices' Chase

This is a cracking little race, but I was delighted with how Giovinco ran at Cheltenham, and I think he’ll run really well again here. You’d have to respect Inothewayurthinkin after his win in the Kim Muir, but this is a big step up from that sort of form, and I just think Giovinco’s third in the Brown Advisory is one of the standout pieces of form in this race.

14:20 Aintree – Handicap Hurdle

Paul Nicholls has made no secret of how highly he regards Inthewaterside, so you’d have to respect him, but I think I’d just side with Kateira for Dan & Harry Skelton. Dan is very good at preparing these horses for the big handicaps, and although she probably wouldn’t have minded the ground to be not quite as testing, I think she’s the one to side with.

14:55 Aintree – Top Novices' Hurdle

I wanted to be with with Dysart Enos here, but I just don’t think she wants the ground this soft, so I think the favourite Mystical Power is the one to beat. I think it’s interesting that they’ve taken the hood off after the Supreme, and I though he was going to win that day until Slade Steel went past him, but that is probably the best piece of form on offer in this race.

15:30 Aintree – Melling Chase

Another horse who would have probably preferred slightly better ground, but this will have been the plan for Pic D’Orhy for some time, and the fact he skipped Cheltenham and has come straight here is a massive help to his chance. Jonbon definitely looks the main danger, and at one point when Pic D’Orhy was very headstrong, you’d have been worried they’d take each other on, but I think he relaxes more now as he’s got older, so he’s the one I’ll side with.

16:05 Aintree – Topham Handicap Chase

Last year’s winner Bill Baxter looks to have been campaigned with this in mind, and off only 1lb higher, it’s difficult not to see him going close again. Of the horses at bigger prices, it wouldn’t surprise me if Flegmatik went well at a price. He’s extremely tough and consistent, and I don’t think the chaos of this race will get to him at all.

16:40 Aintree – Sefton Novices' Hurdle

This is a race that is prone to throw up a shock, but I like Shanagh Bob in this. He skipped Cheltenham, so he comes here fresh, and I thought his win at Cheltenham in December was impressive. I don’t think he’s a flash horse who pokes your eye out in the way some others do, but three miles at Aintree takes a fair bit of getting on this sort of ground, and they tend to get racing very early, so I think that will suit this horse down to the ground.

17:15 Aintree – Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

People might think I’m mad going for this horse, but I fancy Luttrell Lad each-way in this. He goes really well in big-field handicaps, and he’s 1lb lower than when a decent third at Doncaster last time out. He’s won on heavy ground before, and Cameron Iles is well worth his 7lb claim in a contest like this, so I can see him running a big race.

Tom Scudamore, Coral Racing Ambassador
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