/ Racing

Aintree Live: As It Happened

Updated: Saturday, 10 Apr 2010 20:23

Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this year's Grand National
Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this year's Grand National

By Barry McEneaney

13:45 John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (grade 2)

Peddlers Cross is the most likely winner if over his Cheltenham exertions, but it’s worth bearing in mind what a good record Paul Nicholls has in this race. He saddles Najaf. Irish raider Lucky William should improve on this better ground and could be the one to follow if the horses that ran at the Festival underperform.

They're off.

Peddlers Cross wins impressively despite pulling hard in the early stages.

He’s won on sharp tracks, galloping tracks, on good ground and on heavy going. Donald McCain’s charge is a hugely exciting sort for next season.

Aintree 1.45
1 Peddlers Cross (J M Maguire) 5-4 Fav
2 Duke Of Lucca (R Johnson) 7-1
3 Najaf (R Walsh) 4-1
9 ran

14:15 John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase (grade 1)

Contenders that have run well in the Arkle have a superb record here. Osana’s third in that race allied to his course form makes him the one to beat.

They're off.

Tataniano is a facile winner from Osana in second. The winner extends trainer Paul Nicholls’ brilliant record in this race and the first two are proven good ground horses.

Graham Lee took a bad fall of Bedlam Boy, but has risen to his feet. Good news for fans of The Package.

Aintree 2.15
1 Tataniano (R Walsh) 10-3
2 Osana (A J McNamara) 5-2 Fav
3 Archie Boy (D N Russell) 12-1
10 ran

14:50 John Smith's Dick Francis Aintree Hurdle (grade 1)

Peter Kay makes the presentation to connections of the Grand National winner this afternoon. Referring to jockeys as 'The Borrowers' doesn’t apperar to have gone down well in the weighing room.

Many of the leading protagonists in this race will be struggling to recover from their Champion Hurdle exploits. Those at the head of the market look vulnerable, particularly Celestial Halo and Khyber Kim. The former ran poorly here last year and may not be suited by the track, while the latter is best fresh and would almost certainly prefer softer ground. Zaynar looks the strongest of the big three, but he may have peaked last time out.

Quwetwo would have been a confident selection on soft ground, but the prevailing going will have compromised this giant’s chances. He’ll strip fitter for his seasonal debut last time out and could go well if he handles the fast going. But it’s a big ‘If’.

Won In The Dark ran no sort of race at the Festival, but should relish both the track and this ground.

They're off.

Khyber Kim belies the doubts over freshness and the ground to go one better than he did at Cheltenham.

Celestial Halo went at the last giving Ruby Walsh a nasty fall but it was a kick from Won In The Dark that may have done the damage.

Aintree 2.50
1 Khyber Kim (P J Brennan) 7-2
2 Muirhead (P Carberry) 10-1
3 Zaynar (B J Geraghty) 11-8 Fav
7 ran

Ruby Walsh has been taken off the track on a stretcher with his arm in a sling. He misses the ride on Tatanen in the next, but will he miss the ride on Big Fella Thanks in the National?

It looks like a suspected broken arm for the stricken Walsh.

15:25 John Smith's Handicap Chase (listed)

Wogan could run in next year’s National and he remains unexposed despite his advancing years due to a career curtailed by injury.

Ruby Walsh is out with a broken left arm. Barry Geraghty switches from the Paul Nicholls second string Tricky Trickster to favourite Big Fella Thanks. Richard Johnson, who didn’t have a mount in the big one, takes the ride on Tricky Trickster.

They’re off.

The Hobbs-Johnson team are victorious with From Dawn To Dusk.

Aintree 3.25
1 From Dawn To Dusk (R Johnson) 12-1
2 Dom d'Orgeval (D Jacob) 8-1
3 Rare Bob (A P McCoy) 8-1
4 Wogan (A Tinkler) 5-1 Fav
16 ran

The cryptic Mary Leahy believes ‘it’s the turn of the French – ref D Pipe’ in the National.

That could mean top-weight Madison Du Berlais, Pablo Du Charmil or Piraya.

16:15 John Smith's Grand National Chase (grade 3 Handicap)

Quite a number of horses have run big races under heavy burdens in recent Nationals, but for win purposes those allotted anything over 11st 2lb should be avoided. My own shortlist, if it isn’t a contradiction in terms, contains The Package, Flintoff, Snowy Morning, Character Building and Arbor Supreme.

If you put a gun to my head, I’d plump for Willie Mullins’ Arbor Supreme. He’s been shrewdly campaigned and seems certain to thrive on today’s ground.

The Grand National is one of the worst races to get involved in each-way. Bookmakers pay three places in eight runners races but only a parsimonious five, or even four, places in this ultra-completive 40-runner handicap where luck in running has always played a huge part.

The value play has to be to bet a number of horses in the win market. Character Building and Snowy Morning could be the best alternatives to the selection.

Big Fella Thanks had looked an interesting contender after a promising first run in this race last year as a very young horse. However, his tendency to idle when he hits the front is a major worry on a course with such a long run-in.

On this day 12 months ago Claire Balding made one of the broadcasting blunders of the year when she suggested that winning Grand National jockey Liam Treadwell could use his percentage to get his teeth fixed. Claire could be a clairvoyant, cause he has. Treadwell seems delighted with his new gnashers and an earlier BBC package indicated that he clearly doesn’t hold a grudge.

Pat in Cork fancies Comply Or Die to win the National for a second time.

Bundles of cash for Beat The Boys, Nozic, Dream Alliance and My Will in the run-up to the feature.

Joe Lively is Richard Dunwoody’s paddock pick.

They’re off after a false start. King Johns Castle didn’t consent to race.

Tony McCoy breaks his Grand National hoodoo on Don’t Push It in his 15th ride in the race.

The perennial champion jockey could be forgiven for thinking his chance had gone when his mount sweteated up badly before the race, but the winner repelled the challenge of Black Apalachi well.

Aintree 4.15
1 Don't Push It (A P McCoy) 10-1 Jt Fav
2 Black Apalachi (Denis O'Regan) 14-1
3 State of Play (Paul Moloney) 16-1
4 Big Fella Thanks (B J Geraghty) 10-1 Jt Fav
40 ran

It’s also a first win in the race for owner JP McManus and trainer Jonjo O’Neill.

Fifth home was Hello Bud. Most firms were paying five places in the race.

17:00 John Smith's Handicap Hurdle (conditional Jockeys And Amateur Riders)

Nearby is in good form and should run well, but may have little, if anything in hand from the handicapper.

Veiled Applause and Ballybriggan could be the two to rely on.

They’re off.

Dee Ee Williams wins for Nick Gifford and Andrew Glassonbury at 11-1.

The top-weight has been transformed by the application of blinkers and previously ran well at the Cheltenham Festival.

Aintree 5.00
1 Dee Ee Williams A Glassonbury 11-1
3 Issaquah J Halliday 25-1
8 Leslingtaylor Miss N Carberry 10-1
21 Nearby C J Davies 20-1
21 ran

17:35 John Smith's Champion Standard Open Nh Flat Race (grade 2)

The lucky last has proven an unfortunate moniker for a race that continues to throw up winners at massive prices. Eastern Supreme, Fishoutofwater, Mic’s Delight or Priceless Art could provide this year’s shock winner.

They're off.

Megastar and Dare Me fight out the finish of the finale with the former getting his head in from for the Moore family.

The first two finished fifth and sixth in the Champion Bumper at the Festival indicating just how strong this year’s renewal of the race was.

Aintree 5.35
1 Megastar (J E Moore) 9-1
2 Dare Me (R Johnson) 7-1
3 Whispering Hills (R Loughran) 20-1
20 ran

Selections

13:45 Peddlers Cross is the most likely winner if over his Cheltenham exertions, but it’s worth bearing in mind what a good record Paul Nicholls has in this race. He saddles Najaf. Irish raider Lucky William should improve on this better ground and could be the one to follow if the horses that ran at the Festival underperform.

14:15 Contenders that have run well in the Arkle have a superb record here. Osana’s third in that race allied to his course form makes him the one to beat.

14:50 Many of the leading protagonists will be struggling to recover from their Champion Hurdle exploits. Those at the head of the market look vulnerable, particularly Celestial Halo and Khyber Kim. The former ran poorly here last year and may not be suited by the track, while the latter is best fresh and would almost certainly prefer softer ground. Zaynar looks the strongest of the big three, but he may have peaked last time out.

Quwetwo would have been a confident selection on soft ground, but the prevailing going will have compromised this giant’s chances. He’ll strip fitter for his seasonal debut last time out and could go well if he handles the fast going. But it’s a big ‘If’.

Won In The Dark ran no sort of race at the Festival, but should relish both the track and this ground.

15:25 Wogan could run in next year’s National and he remains unexposed despite his advancing years due to a career curtailed by injury.

16:15 Grand National Quite a number of horses have run big races under heavy burdens in recent Nationals, but for win purposes those allotted anything over 11st 2lb should be avoided. My own shortlist, if it isn’t a contradiction in terms, contains The Package, Flintoff, Snowy Morning, Character Building and Arbor Supreme.

If you put a gun to my head, I’d plump for Willie Mullins’ Arbor Supreme. He’s been shrewdly campaigned and seems certain to thrive on today’s ground.

The Grand National is one of the worst races to get involved in each-way. Bookmakers pay three places in eight runners races but only a parsimonious five, or even four, places in this ultra-completive 40-runner handicap where luck in running has always played a huge part.

The value play has to be to bet a number of horses in the win market. Character Building and Snowy Morning could be the best alternatives to the selection.

Big Fella Thanks had looked an interesting contender after a promising first run in this race last year as a very young horse. However, his tendency to idle when he hits the front is a major worry on a course with such a long run-in.

17:00 Nearby is in good form and should run well, but they have little, if anything in hand from the handicapper.

Veiled Applause and Ballybriggan could be the two to rely on.

17:35 The lucky last has proven an unfortunate moniker for a race that continues to throw up winners at massive prices. Eastern Supreme, Fishoutofwater, Mic’s Delight or Priceless Art could provide this year’s shock winner.

Going

The official going this afternoon on the National course is good, good to soft in places. It’s quicker on the Mildmay and hurdle course with an official description of good.

Your National pick should be one with form on decent ground.

Schedule

13:45 John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (grade 2) (4yo+, Class 1, 2m 4f, 9 runners)
14:15 John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase (grade 1) (5yo+, Class 1, 2m, 10 runners)
14:50 John Smith's Dick Francis Aintree Hurdle (grade 1) (4yo+, Class 1, 2m 4f, 7 runners)
15:25 John Smith's Handicap Chase (listed) (5yo+, Class 1, 3m 1f, 16 runners)
16:15 John Smith's Grand National Chase (grade 3 Handicap) (6yo+, Class 1, 4m 4f, 40 runners)
17:00 John Smith's Handicap Hurdle (conditional Jockeys And Amateur Riders) (4yo+, Class 2, 2m 110y, 21 runners)
17:35 John Smith's Champion Standard Open Nh Flat Race (grade 2) (4-6yo, Class 1, 2m 1f, 20 runners)