Liverpool had their relentless march to their first Premier League title delayed at Vicarage Road on Saturday, but Red could again be the colour of choice at Aintree for this year’s Grand National next month.
Red has been a lucky colour in the National. Following the great Red Rum’s hat-trick of wins in the 1970s, Red Marauder sloshed through the mud back in 2001 and Brian Ellison’s Definitely Red was cut from 20s to a best price 16/1 with William Hill in the National betting after a facile success in the listed Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday.
Ellison was insistent that hat-trick seeking Tiger Roll – best priced 11/2 with Unibet – would not give his 11-year-old a stone and you can put a line through his run behind One For Arthur in the National of 2017 when he was pulled up having been badly hampered at Bechers first time which led to a slipped saddle.
Chepstow has already been abandoned and Monday’s Wetherby card is subject to an 8am inspection. If racing gets the green light, I hope to see Mortens Leam (3.40) run a big race in the near two-and-a-half-mile chase despite carrying top-weight. The selection was just getting into the race when brought down at the fence in front of the stands at Sedgefield last time and his sole previous run at Wetherby was an excellent one when runner up behind Ami Desbois on his chase debut.
In the finale Alberto’s Dream has dropped to a winning mark and is worth a check to see what the market makes of his prospects, but Michael Scudamore is taken to find the key to winning Irish pointer The Dawn Man (4.45) who has his first start for the yard and has bits of form over timber which suggests he could be well treated. The each way selection wore a tongue-tie for his last three starts for his previous yard, but the aid is left off this afternoon.
Over at Wolverhampton Anthony Britain has his string in good form and Traveller (5.15) is only 2lbs higher than when scoring here 10 days ago and he is taken to make it three wins from his last four starts in the second division of the extended 9f handicap. Adam Kirby takes over in the saddle on Amor Fati – second to the selection last time – and will have his supporters but Traveller is on a bit of a roll at present and gets the vote.
The 12f handicap is the feature race and I hope to see Deal A Dollar (6.15) reverse recent Kempton form with likely market leader Sky Defender on 5lbs better terms. It is possible that the latter will get an easy time of things from the front which is a concern, but Jamie Spencer is riding well of late and the selection is a proven performer on tonight’s tapeta surface while the Mark Johnston runner may be best served by polytrack.
Dear Power, carries a 7lbs penalty for scoring at Chelmsford on debut and she was drawn poorly when disappointing on her sole turf start in the Gp 3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury back in September. Karl Burke saddles three I am looking forward to seeing the reappearance of Macho Touch (7.15) who has been off the track since finishing fifth in a 5f listed York contest back in May. This evening’s additional furlong will suit, and she can make the most of the weight she receives from the Roger Varian trained filly.
There is a good card at Leopardstown this afternoon and Shakeytry (3.25) can go one better than when runner up over the minimum trip at Fairyhouse back in January. Today extra distance is a positive and, while better ground would suit, connections look to have found a winning opportunity.
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