Friday sees the second day of the Aintree Festival and former Grand National winner Robbie Power has joined BoyleSports to run the rule over the big races on day two.
It’s a big step up in class or El Fabiolo, a maiden hurdle from Tramore going straight into a Grade One at Aintree.
Willie Mullins obviously thinks he has the ability to do so and that’s why he is running him. He is going to have to be very good to beat Jonbon who I thought ran a very good race in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
I think Jonbon will prove to us in this race just how good Constitution Hill is if he manages to come out and win here and give that form more of a boost.
He will take plenty of beating. El Fabiolo and First Street look the main dangers. Vina Ardanza needs to improve needs to improve on what he has done. I’d be shocked in Jonbon doesn’t win this with my forecast prediction Jonbon 1st El Fabiolo 2nd.
Who says you need big fields to make good races and this is a great example of that with just four runners. Four novices and four Grade One winners. Ahoy Senor is yet to reach the heights over fences that he did over hurdles. His jumping leaves a little to be desired but he was an impressive over 3m at Aintree last year.
You couldn’t fault Bravemansgame all season. He has been foot-perfect and his jumping has been a joy to watch and so has L’Homme Presse.
Their jumping is flawless and the step up in trip to 3m seems to suit L’Homme Presse at Cheltenham. It just showed how good this race is with Fury Road a Grade One winner over fences is the outsider of the field.
I have slight preference for L’Homme Presse and we will see if Paul Nicholls made the right decision by not running Bravemansgame at Cheltenham and keeping him fresh for Aintree.
That is the only edge he has in this race that he didn’t run at Cheltenham but I’m still going to side with L’Homme Presse. He is a star in the making and he deserves to be the highest rated novice chaser in England based on what we have seen so far. It’s going to be an intriguing contest.
This is very competitive race. Fakir D’Oudairies was very impressive at Aintree last season. He has been finding Allaho too good for him on a few occasions and I think it was the right decision to skip the Cheltenham Festival as he probably would have been second to Allaho again. This looks a good opportunity for him.
This is probably an ideal trip for Saint Calvados. He was disappointing the last day at Ascot when he pulled up but ran a cracker before that when third in the King George over an extended 3m.
He steps back in trip here and could be a danger to Fakir D’Oudairies.
Captain Guinness was good winner the last day and steps up in trip so that is interesting. He was placed in an Arkle before. There are dangers but Fakir D’Oudairies sets the standard and he will be very hard to beat with Saint Calvados the main danger.
This is a very competitive race. Galway Plate winner Royal Rendezvous is at the top of the weights and sets a good standard. Sizing Pottsie was a very good winner the last day winning the Webster Cup at Navan and the more rain that falls the better his chances will get.
Before that he was second to Melon at Gowran Park but soft or heavy ground is key for him. If he gets that then he has a big chance.
Christian William’s horses are in fantastic form and these big handicaps are what he targets, they are his bread and butter. He has a fantastic record with them so Five Star Getaway has a chance.
Mister Coffey has been hitting the crossbar on a few occasions and Tamaroc Du Mathan looks like each-value. Paul Nicholls has a great record in this race with seven-year-olds, so I’m very interested in him. This distance is ideal for him and he looks an improving sort.
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Banbridge was a good winner of the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival and will take a lot of beating in this. On ratings he comes out well clear with Gelino Bello probably the second highest rated in the race.
Skytastic is an interesting runner and is on the improve and has won his last two outings.
This looks a very good opportunity for Banbridge and is the only Irish challenger in the race. The form from the Martin Pipe often works out very well for improving novices so he is the one to beat.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ROBBIE POWER
Robbie ‘Puppy’ Power is BoyleSports’ Racing Ambassador and a successful National Hunt jockey with a number wins and achievements under his belt.
These include the English Grand National at Aintree, the Gold Cup at Cheltenham and the BoyleSports Irish Grand National.
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