14th April 2012
Grand National Meeting Betting: The New One to land Champion Bumper in Aintree finale
The New 5.35 Aintree: John Smith’s Champion Bumper (Grade 2) (2m1f)
The final race of the three day Aintree Festival is the Champion Bumper over 2m1f, over the years we have had some big priced winners of this contest and a difficult race for punters to go out on a winning note. Last year Steps To Freedom won for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott but rather surprisingly that was the first Irish victory since 2002 and even more amazing is that none of the 22 declared runners in this year’s renewal are from over the Irish Sea.
Top of many lists will be Population trained by John Ferguson, the yard are having a good time of it in their first season and the 5yo is unbeaten in two starts so far, he’s a 5/2 shot with bookmakers Ladbrokes to make it a hat-trick of wins. His victories were both at Ascot back in the autumn so will come here fresher than most and has AP McCoy in the saddle.
Donald McCain has a couple of runners including Ifyousayso who is the top rated on official figures, his mark of 134 sets the standard and has won his two bumpers this season and the last one by an impressive ten lengths. His other runner is Howaboutnow and will be ridden by Jason Maguire, he’s a winning pointer and was last seen at Sedgefield when he won a bumper and will be staying on at the end of the race for sure.
Nicky Henderson has two runners also, My Tent Or Yours is the choice of Barry Geraghty, he won on his debut at Ludlow but was beaten when odds on at Newbury last time. Stable companion Minella Forfitness won a point last year over three miles and the won at Kempton by twelve lengths on his NH Flat debut and looks a future chaser in the making. Nigel Twiston-Davies is not that well known for his bumper winners but The New One caught my eye in the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper at the Festival; he was a staying on sixth that day behind Champagne Fever. Many Clouds was back in ninth that day for Oliver Sherwood and looks to have it all to do here. The New One had previously been unbeaten at shorter trips and could be a bit of value in a minefield of a race.
Of the others worth a mention are Sir Johnson who had won four races before finishing well behind at Cheltenham and Il Presidente from the Ian Williams yard who won his only start at Fontwell back in January by 19 lengths, he could improve for the step up in trip. Alan Swinbank is the man to follow in northern bumpers and he saddles Big Water, he won at Catterick and Ayr before finishing second last time at Newcastle and is well thought of.
A lot of guess work going on here but I like the Twiston-Davies runner and a bit each way on Big Water for a trainer who knows the time of day with bumper horses is my way forward.
1pt The New One 7/1 Stan James
1pt EW Big Water 50/1 Bet365
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Author: Ray Singpost