This is the Betting.co.uk Grand National day two preview for the middle day of the 2021 Aintree Festival. It's Ladies Day on the edge of Liverpool with more graded action. Find out which horses have caught the eye of our experts in our Grand National Friday preview here...
Everything gets underway on day two with the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at 1:45, where AMARILLO SKY may build on a recent win now stepped up in trip. There are many horses at the top of the weights that could make smart novice chasers next season, but this one sneaks in at the foot for Colin Tizzard.
Like all end-of-season Festival handicaps, this one is very competitive. It may be that top-weight Wilde About Oscar for the Skeltons or Alan King's Edwardstone can go well under welter burdens. There are easier races for betting identified in our Grand National day two preview, though.
The Top Novices' Hurdle at 2:20 surrounds the well-being of DUSART. He has raced just once in his life, but beat subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory for trainer Nicky Henderson and owner Ronnie Bartlett. Setbacks meant he missed the winter and Cheltenham, but he now may build belatedly on a really taking debut.
Third Time Lucki is better off at the weights with County Hurdle victor Belfast Banter. There is also the Supreme Novices' Hurdle third For Pleasure in this, but he has one style of racing and must settle better.
Leading Irish owner JP McManus will want a better time at Aintree than he had with his horses at Cheltenham. CHANTRY HOUSE was his only winner of the Festival this year, and sets a clear standard for the Mildmay Novices' Chase at 2:50.
There are plenty of dangers on his first start at a staying trip. The breeding and way he finished off at Cheltenham suggests Chantry House will get it, though. Also look out for the unexposed Espoir De Romay for Kim Bailey, the Skeltons' representative Shan Blue and Tizzard duo The Big Breakaway and Fiddlerontheroof.
The feature Marsh Chase at 3:25 is one we looked at in detail separately. NUTS WELL is the each-way selection there and in our Grand National Friday preview based on his course and distance triumph in the Old Roan in October. Another in the frame is former race winner Politologue, clear on ratings but looking to bounce back from a late withdrawal from Cheltenham.
In the Topham Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at 4:05, MODUS could go better than his third over course and distance last time out. Also trained for McManus by Paul Nicholls, that run in the Grand Sefton could be enough to hit the frame. This is a very open race, however, with 28 runners declared.
Bravemansgame heads the betting for the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at 4:40, but must bounce back from disappointment at Cheltenham. One horse who outran their odds at the Festival, however, was OSCAR ELITE. He rates a solid each-way bet, according to our Grand National day two preview, for Tizzard.
Cape Gentleman also takes a marked step up in trip. His Kempton win over two miles last time out was all heart. As he won the Irish Cesarewitch on the Flat, however, he should get further. Fellow Emerald Isle raider Streets Of Doyen will also like the ground and distance.
Finally, the conditional and amateur jockeys' handicap hurdle closes the card at 5:15, and CAMPROND could be well-treated. The Taunton winner has 3lb claimer Ben Jones aboard on handicap debut for trainer Philip Hobbs and McManus. Camprond has a lovely racing weight and could have any amount of improvement in him.
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