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14:20 Aintree This looks a straight shooutout between Henderson duo Apples Shakira and We Have A Dream, the first mentioned went into the Cheltenham Festival as many people’s banker of the meeting on the back of her unbeaten sequence of three victories at Cheltenham. Proven on the ground, trip and obviously the track her performance when ultimately fourth in the Triumph has to be described as disappointing although it could be argued the slow pace counted against her, whatever she has major claims against these and the application of the hood could work the oracle. We Have A Dream missed the Festival after a small set back, his unbeaten UK record includes a Chepstow Grade1 and this ground holds no fears for him, in all probability he has to improve to turn over his stablemate though it wouldn’t be by much and he has no clouds over him. Malaya and Nube Negra are the other ones with form to warrant respect but anything other than a Henderson trained winner would be an upset and We Have A Dream is taken to provide it. We Have A Dream (WIN) – NAP

14:50 Aintree Might Bite should take an awful lot of beating here and arrives as the clear standout, Nicky Henderson’s Gold Cup runner up probably wants much better ground than he will get but a reproduction of any of his performances this term gives the rest no hope, that being said the bookies are unlikely to offer much value. Tea For Two is often well placed by Nick Williams and his effort when Third in the King George gives his followers hope of a similar result today, the ground will be no issue and this track definitely suits him more than Cheltenham although once more, the bookies will hardly offer much value. Bristol De Mai bypassed Cheltenham after disappointing at that venue behind the re-opposing Definitely Red, there is no question to my mind that he is the second best horse in this though you start to feel he is an early season type and his effort when pestered for the lead in the King George was off putting. Double Shuffle caused eyebrows to be raised when finishing second in the King George at 50/1, given a break since then you almost want to think he is the one most likely to place but you then must consider the amount improvement that effort required. In summary and having baffled myself, Might Bite is by far the most likely winner and would be the ”best” result for most concerned, we cant back him at them odds however so a chance will be taken on Double Shuffle proving his shock King George effort was no fluke and on that he is the token each way selection. Double Shuffle (E/W)

15:25 Aintree Having turned over Faugheen over 2 miles at Leopardstown in February it was perhaps a surprise when trainer Jessie Harrington stated the Stayers Hurdle was the target for Supasundae thereafter, that decision probably proved to be correct given the machine misfired in the Champion and his second in the 3miler was a solid effort. With no potential star in opposition today it is almost impossible to oppose him and without overcomplicating it, he is taken to prove much too good at the trip. The New One has won this before and is as solid as any for place, a grand old servant he will enjoy this trip more than most and he could turn over the favourite if managing to get him into a battle. My Tent Or Yours has always been questionable over this trip and the ground will make it even harder today, he is probably the classiest in the line up though and he will likely excite you at some point during the run. Supasundae (WIN)

16:05 Aintree On The Fringe would be a fairy-tale winner of this having won the 15 and 16 editions, a proper horse on his day you rather suspect sentiment could see the market speak in his favour today though he has looked to be in clear decline over the past year or so and on that he is taken on with a heavy heart. Grand Vision ran well when 6th in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham and his jumping looks trustworthy enough over these fences, the booking of Jamie Codd is another plus and all things point to a good run. Balnaslow was backed for this last season and finished a fine second, this has always looked the target for him and a massive amount of respect is afforded. Wonderful Charm has twice failed to cut the mustard over these fences and his effort last time was desperate, a classy type on his day you would be brave to dismiss him and Sam Waley Cohen rides these fences as good as any. Wells De Lune will likely ensure a good pace is there to be aimed at and you wouldn’t dismiss his chance out of hand though Wonderful Charm and the bold jumping Barralinka are our speculative suggestions in a race where literally anything could happen. Barralinka (E/W) Wonderful Charm (WIN)

16:40 Aintree King’s Socks was all the rage for the Brown Advisory Plate at Cheltenham and he looked the most likely winner for much of the way, ridden wide and apparently full of running his effort eventually petered out though todays drop in trip looks certain to suit. Only lightly raced since joining the Pipe it is perhaps worth noting that his yard are in much better form now when compared to Cheltenham, that taken into account the NAP vote is handed down and a massive run in expected. Theinval is a fairly consistent type who ought to enjoy the likely strong pace on offer today, second off a 3lbs higher mark last season you have to think he will go close once more. Bun Doran, Gino Trail, Overtown Express and Baby King all make some sort of appeal but King’s Socks will surely strike off this sort of mark and today may well prove to be the day. King’s Socks (WIN) – NAP

written by Chris Connolly


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