Aintree Day Two

What a great first day of the festival that was. Thrills and spills a plenty! I was staggered to read on twitter that people were questioning Ruby Walsh's ability and also that there may be some wrong doings going on due to Annie Power and Arctic Fire falling at the last. I was flabbergasted to be honest, how can anyone who follows racing think that anyone would make a horse fall on purpose and risk the lives of the jockeys and horses, please! Give us a break and stop talking through your pocket! It's the name of the game and sometimes horses fall! It put a sour taste in my mouth after a great first day! That's enough of that now, it's off my chest and done…we move on. It was a decent day on the blog with CLARCAM (5-1) winning, photo above courtesy of Fran (@Riosrider2) and then some good runs for HOLYWELL, PACHA DU POLDER and ROCK ON RUBY. I called the lifeguards out to come and get me when I fell off the cliff with KATGARY in the last!!
 
On to today, ladies day and god knows what sights we'll see!! Some cracking racing again though and I'm down to three for the big one tomorrow – MON PARRAIN, ROCKY CREEK and FIRST LIEUTENANT. Whatever you're on today good luck!
 
Alder Hey Children's Charity Hurdle 1340
Another cracking handicap to try and solve on day two. THEINVAL won very well last time and despit a 10lb rise I'm sure he will be there again. I have put a few shillings on DELL' ARCA this year but he just hasn't just got going properly, if he does he has a chance. PEARL SWAN has been well supported and Nicholls continues to persevere with him. I'm opting for MIJHAAR (treble) (Unplaced) though, he ran well here over course and distance and got caught a little wide at Cheltenham. This flatter track and better ground will brimg out his falt racing attributes and he has been dropped another 2lbs to a mark of OR137. He has to run well today!
 
E-Lites Top Novices Hurdle 1415
Now this is a cracking contest. You can make a strong arguement for a lot of these. CARDINAL WATER has looked very good so far and was only geaten by QEWY but he was giving him 6lbs that day, level weights today so I can see those two switching order and despite QEWY bringing possibly the best form to the race I don't think either will win. GLINGERBURN has done nothing but improve this year, he beat BRISTOL DE MAI easily last time and he ran well yesterday. He's fresh and could run a big race. I'm opting for VAGO COLLONGES (nap)(2nd – 7-1) though, this looked his optimum trip last time and he has run consistently well all year. He will be suited by a strongly run race to come from off the pace and he will surely get that today. The better ground will also be in his favour to. I expect a big run and to come and swoop late after the last.
 
Mildmay Novices Chase 1450
This is not the best renewal in my eyes. Firstly SAPHIR DU RHEU is a smart staying hurdler and if he jumps, which there are doubts about, he will win. He is very short though. Jumping needs to be a premium in this and at the pace it will be run. I'm opting for CAROLE'S DESTRIER (unplaced) to win. He has some pretty solid form coming into this and was raised 10lbs for a good win in Listed company at Ascot. He since went out and won without breaking sweat and is a progressive sort who should be thereabouts.
 
MELLING CHASE 1525
Now this is more like it! What a fantastic race this is on paper! SIRE DE GRUGY (Fell) hasn't shown his best yet this year but there were signs of him coming back at Cheltenham. I really think this extended trip for him willnow be his distance and he may not be able to go with the young guns over two miles. He has bags of class and I think he'll show that today and take this. AL FEROF is a real danger and goes so well fresh, he was very impressive last time and he has the ability to kick on. If BALDER SUCCES turns up he also has a sniff. Sit back and enjoy the best race of the day!
 
Topham Chase 1605
The warm up for the big one! It's always run at a hectic pace and as we saw yesterday some of them go too quick and fall at the first, plus you need that bit of luck. HUNT BALL will love this and he has slipped to a pretty decent mark and should run well. BENNY'S MIST really impressed me with his jumping last time when just getting collared by SOUND INVESTMENT and a repeat of that gives him a chance. I'm selecting RUBEN COTTER (unplaced) though, he was very good last time after a mamoth lay off and cruised to the front. He has been raised 10lbs for that but he had heaps in hand that day and Nicholls has trained him for this and is very bullish about his chances. I expect another big run, he could make a mockery out of this.
 
Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle 1640
THOMAS BROWN (nb) (unplaced) really disappointed me at Cheltenham. He has sime superb form in the book. He beat VAGO COLLONGES at Exeter in November and then followed that up by a close second to OUT SAM and he had TEA FOR TWO behind that day who destroyed the field in the Lanzarote. Before his festival disappointment he beat ROBINSFIRTH at Cheltenham and had AS DE MEE miles behind him. This trip is still an unknown but he's git bags of ability I think and something could have been amiss last time. I'm willing to give him another go based on this smart form. This flatter track may well suit too. MINELLA ROCCO has been ultra impressive so far and he could be anything, I'm happy to watch him in this contest today at his price, but he's one for the future. BLAKLION has a chance if he returns to earlier form he has shown.
 
Weatherby's NH Flat Race 1715
I don't really follow these races much. I'm opting for Mullins' best placed horse from the festival BELLSHILL (2nd – 7-1) to run a little closer today.
 
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Trials Day at Cheltenham

We know we are not too far from the festival when trials day is upon us. We also have a the Skybet chase at Donny too! God I love NH racing! I hope you followed the blog last week as my fine form continued with a win for the nap REBEL REBELION at 12-1 and also a win for BITOFAPUZZLE at 5-2. I'm hoping to continue this run going again and think I've found a great nap and a couple of decent prices in the big handicaps! I'm sat doing the blog on a Friday night for a change ready to go out with some old work colleagues for a nice Italian. Tomorrow is a busy day as I'm in school most of the day for rehearsals for the school play – OUR DAY OUT so wont get chance to watch the races until I get home! Sadly I may have to miss the #twittergamble out this week as I may not get time to hear from the lads. If I did you'll see it below. Whatever you are sticking your well earned money on, good luck in our continuing battle with old enemy – the bookie!
 
#twittergamble selections
@Liamkenniford – Un Temps Por Tout 1535 Cheltenham
@Fernando_RFC2 – Vaule At Risk 1500 Cheltenham
@TonytheTyke – Garrahalish 1315 Cheltenham
@DazGilbert1 – Green Tornado 1620 Lingfield
 
VAGO COLLONGES 1500 CHELTENHAM (nap) – (3rd – 8-1 = £5.00)
This fella really has some smart form in the bag! His season started with a defeat by THOMAS BROWN who has since franked the form with a victory and is now rated 6lbs better than my selection. THOMAS BROWN was defeated prior to his win by OUT SAM from the Henderson yard, who has since gone on to win again! Even more interestingly third in that race that day, behind THOMAS BROWN was a certain TEA FOR TWO who then went on to win two on the bounce including the demolition of the field in the Lanzarote. Told you it was smart form didn't I! My guy has also been ultra-consistent in all his runs and has been knocking at the door and could take a race like this. Bring it on! He's 7-1 as I type this!
 
NIGHT IN MILAN 1515 DONCASTER (nb) – (3rd – 12-1 = £7.50)
Loves it here, and ran so well when a narrow second, by a head, to one of my old favourites GRANDADS HORSE here last time. My guy was 5lbs worse off in the weights that day and they reoppose here with only a pound difference! Effectively he's 4lbs better off. He is also better off in the ratings too, my guy has been raised 2lbs to a mark of OR146, whereas his old nemesis was raised 6lbs for his win to a mark of OR145. It's tight and there are some other smart horses too, but I reckon my guy has it today, he's a better horse than when pulled up in this last year and I'm hopeful of a big run
 
BIG FELLA THANKS 1425 CHELTENHAM (treble) – (2nd – 25-1 = £15.62)
This guy is on such an appealing mark I have to have a bet on him! He has been a real star over the years and is in his twilight yet he still has ability. He has dropped to a mark of OR135, that is a full 10lbs lower than his last winning mark. You may say this is because he is in decline. For me though he's just been up against top horses and on a tough mark. He ran well in behind the likes of MA FILLEULE, TRANQUIL SEA and CHANCE DU ROY last year. He was also beaten by my selection PACHA DU POLDER a few years back in a hot race, that was off a mark 19lbs higher than this. He is also racing off a decent weight below 11 stone too and this could be his day!
 
BLACK RIVER 1315 CHELTENHAM – (unplaced = -£5.00)
This guy has flattered to deceive so far, yet I have to stick with him as I beleive he is such a talented horse and exciting prospect and this track may bring out the best in him. I'm putting last time down to awful ground as I think it really was bottomlesss that day. He runs off the same mark today and has to have a good shout in a competitive race. He did beat VAUTOUR as a juvenile! Game on!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
 
Standings
Father 5-6 Son
Profit
Father -£31.07
Son £179.49