12th April 2012
Grand National Meeting Betting: Williams' 25/1 shot worth a second look in Grade 1 Sefton at Aintree
4.15 Aintree: John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (3m110yds)
The Sefton Novice’ Hurdle is the second Grade 1 race at Aintree on Friday and is run over the extended three miles. 19 runners go to post and all eyes will be on Fingal Bay who is unbeaten this season and unfortunately suffered a setback just before the Cheltenham Festival and had to miss the meeting. He will be a warm order for this contest and BetVictor have him at 13/8 in their market.
The 6yo has been very impressive this season winning all four of his starts over hurdles and all in graded company. He started off at Chepstow in October and then won the Neptune trial at Cheltenham from a good field. He landed the hat-trick from Simonsig at Sandown and then completed the four timer in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury. He never wins by that far and only juts does enough once he hits the front and this step up to three miles should suit him down to the ground as long as he is over his problems.
Cotton Mill ran a blinder until running out two from home in the Neptune and will be on most peoples short lists after that, he hadn’t shown any of those tendencies in the past so connections will just hope it was one of those things, he and Simonsig were well clear of a top quality field that day and looks sure to run well again. Nagpur was back in 6th after getting outpaced early on and will relish the trip but needs to find some improvement.
Two improving types are Tap Night and Knock A Hand; they both have roughly 10lbs to find with Fingal Bay on official figures but are progressive sorts and could be fair value in the betting. Tap Night beat Captain Conan last time at Kelso in a grade 2 race and has always looked a stayer in the making while Knock A Hand has won his last four races including a handicap off 134 at Newbury and that was rock solid form with Gullinbursti finishing second.
Tim Vaughan runs Ballyrock, he has only ran twice over hurdles and won on his debut when unfancied at Hereford, he followed up with a close second to Fingal Bay at Newbury but that was a small field and could have been flattered. The Pipe yard run Poole Master who had won three races before flopping at Cheltenham and one that may be more interesting is Lovcen from the King stable, he was a good fourth in the Albert Bartlett race at the Festival and was staying on all the time up the hill, he is one who is guaranteed to stay the trip and the stable are in fine form. Another who wants every yard of this three miles is Makethe Mostofnow trained by Evan Williams, he won at Ffos Las in soft ground by an impressive 8 lengths from Miss Kalifa and beat Lovcen in a point to point race last year and is one to watch.
It’s a vintage renewal and very competitive and Fingal Bay wont have it all his own way, his price may be a bit skinny considering the opposition so I’d rather have a couple of bigger prices running for me each way.
1pt EW Makethe Mostofnow 25/1 Stan James
1pt EW Lovcen 14/1 Paddy Power
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Author: Ray Singpost