Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Seven winners for Aintree Update

14-April-2024 13:59
in General
by Admin

Nineteen years ago the Willie Mullins trained Hedgehunter won the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse before following up in the Grand National at Aintree. The head of Closutton won his second Grand National on Saturday with I Am Maximus beating Delta Work by seven and a half lengths. The former Nicky Henderson trained gelding won the Irish National last spring and produced an even better performance here off a ten pounds better mark. Racing on the inside throughout, the Authorized gelding was in behind the leaders turning for home before being unleashed on the long run-in. Quick enough to win the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase over two and a half miles at Fairyhouse in early December, Paul Townend's mount was too speedy for Delta Work and Minella Indo in the latter stages. 

While the Grand National remains a unique test, it no longer places the same emphasis on jumping hence there were no fallers in the Grand National (four runners unseated their riders, including last year's winner Corach Rambler) and 21 horses completed, which is the highest number for nineteen years. There is no doubt the class horses came to the fore this year with the first four home all Grade 1 winners rated 159, 157, 159 and 155. The quintet all carried 11st 2lb plus. 

I am afraid my long range ante-post selection Panda Boy failed to land a blow and, other than briefly going on the second circuit, never looked like getting involved. It looked a case of Martin Brassil's runner not being good enough and was outclassed. His jumping was adequate but he couldn't muster the speed to tag on to the back of the leaders. A distant seventeenth, the grey was beaten in excess of fifty lengths and, having looked forward to his run for at least three months, it was a bitterly disappointing effort. Even though I Am Maximus (advised @ 8/1) was tipped in the Aintree Update, one couldn't help feeling deflated afterwards.

On a positive note, it was a terrific three days for the Aintree Update with 7 winners in total and maintain the excellent season for the Updates throughout 2023/2024. The winners included Impaire Et Passe (advised @ 9/4), Sans Bruit (advised @ 14/1), Kateira (advised @ 12/1), Mystical Power (advised @ 11/4), Jonbon (advised @ 5/2), Brighterdaysahead (advised @ 7/1) and I Am Maximus (advised @ 8/1)

I Am Maximus's victory has ensured the trainers' championship is still very much up for grabs. Willie Mullins moved to the top of the table and the Irish champion is set to have his first runners in the Scottish Champion Hurdle and National since 2016 next weekend. I am working there for Racing TV and his presence will add an extra dimension to proceedings. It should be a couple of cracking days racing.

Don't forget to order Ahead On The Flat if you haven't already done so - we have less than 110 copies left in stock. Thank you very much to those clients who ordered during the last few days, it is much appreciated. Those books will be posted on Monday morning.


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