Good morning all,
In the first month of the new flat turf season. It usually pays to look for horses that have previously won in April or who have won on their seasonal reappearance in the past. Plenty of winners can also be found by focusing on those trainers that have their horses tuned up at the start of the season and are in form. More on that later.
Aintree’s Grand National Festival starts on Thursday and unlike Cheltenham I’m heading into the meeting among the winners. It’s been a tough period for my Victor Value subscribers but a near 15pts profit over the Easter Weekend will do for me.
Inside today’s main piece, you can read my thoughts on the Easter weekend action. Plus, I have selection from this evening's meeting at Chelmsford.
Freewheeling to National Success
Freewheeling Dylan was given a superb front running ride by Ricky Doyle to win the Boylesports Irish Grand National at 150/1. Well done if you found the winner. I have to say it’s great to see a front runner jump so well to win a big handicap chase. Apart from a slight mistake at the first and the second last. The 9-year-old racing in the first time cheekpieces jumped impeccably.
The second home Run Wild Fred backed up his runner-up effort in Thyestes Handicap Chase with another excellent run here. He was always in the first three and but for errors at the second and notably last fence may well have won.
Favourite Latest Exhibition ran well for a long way to finish 4th but found top-weight anchoring him from two out.
Johnston’s Musselburgh Four Timer
Mark Johnston usually has his string ready to win in April and this year looks no different as he saddled a Musselburgh four timer on Saturday.
The pick of his wins was Themaxwecan’s success in the feature race the Betway Queen's Cup. The 5-year-old looked on a decent enough mark for his seasonal reappearance and got a clever ride from jockey Ben Curtis. He made a winning mid race move to get on the heels of the leaders to make use of his mounts stamina.
The horse to take from the race also hails from the Johnston yard and its Trumpet Man. The 4-year-old had improved for stepping up to 2m with a hat trick of wins last autumn. His seasonal reappearance was probably needed and he can win again when returned 2m.
There was a thrilling finish to the Betway Scottish Sprint Cup, with a short head & head separating the first three home. Jabbarockie who won first time up last season, made all from stall 12 and managed to cling from the strong finishing Zarzyni and Come From The Dark.
Zarzyni who had shaped with promise on his stable debut at Wolverhampton improved again for the drop back to 5f. The 4-year-old is with a shrewd yard and should pay his way this year in sprint handicaps.
Come From The Dark was having his first start since an off season gelding operation and wind surgery. His three previous career wins had come at Haydock but he’s also gone close over a stiff 5f at Ascot. Like the runner-up he can win this season.
Tanasoq – Jim Goldie
Tanasoq shaped with plenty of promise on his first start for new trainer Jim Goldie. Dropped in from his low draw and held up, on a day when the pace held up at the Scottish track. He did well to finish as close as he did in fifth in the 5f Class 4 handicap.
The 8-year-old who won the 2018 Epsom Dash, off 14lb higher has dropped down to a tempting handicap if his new trainer can revive him. A sharp 5f on good/good firm used to be his optimum conditions.
Heights Of Abraham – Keith Dalgleish
The 3-year-old never recovered from a slow start on his seasonal reappearance in the Betway Royal Mile Handicap.
Twice a winner as a juvenile, ending last season with success in Doncaster nursery, off 5lb lower. Both those wins had come on soft/good to soft so the quickening ground might not have been in his favour. He remains with scope for improvement this year.
I mentioned earlier to look out for horses who have won previously on the first start of the season. There are three horses returning from a 150+day layoff today that have won first time up.
2:00 – Victory Chime who is 2-3 +12 and a previous C&D winner. He likes to go from the front but could face competition for the lead here.
2:30 – Bickerstaffe who won on his racecourse debut last season at Hamilton (soft) and looked in need of 6f when beaten favourite in a Listed race at Ayr on his only other start.
6:00 Margub is 2-2 +4.5 on his first start of a new season and 2-3 over C&D. He’s having his first run for 634-days but given his record fresh. I think he can go well from stall 4 and make a winning return to action.
6:00 – Margub
Good luck with your Tuesday’s bets.