SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch on day one of the Aintree Festival with a race by race analysis of the highs and lows of the day.
BEN’S THOUGHTS BEFORE RACING
1:45 Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
The punters didn’t really steam into in for the first at our pitch on the rails as they started to find their feet. We did lay a £3,000 accumulator on the first five jollies in the office so 5/1 winner Flying Angel was a very decent start for us.
2:20 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
We bet without the favourite, there didn’t seem to be much strength in depth – people prepared to bet Defi Du Seuil at long odds-on. Divin Bere second was a winner in the book.
Not laying a massive lump on Defi Du Seuil then watching it win for the book was like dodging a bullet. With that in mind, it was time to get to work getting Cue Card and Empire Of Dirt in the book for the Betway Bowl. Ben and Kyle were ready.
2:50 Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1)
Empire Of Dirt was weak in the market so Ben chased it all the way out to 7/2. Liabilities were very modest compared to Cheltenham but still four thick figures. What a fantastic race Lizzie Kelly winning on Tea For Two for Nick and Jane Williams though only a modest winner in the book. Lizzie Kelly was very popular with the punters. Tremendous roar from the bookies ‘Come On Lizzie’! Amazing scenes.
3:25 Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)
We bet on three markets in the Betway Aintree Hurdle, straight, without and forecast. It was hard to lay Buveur D’Air, so much so he was a small winner in the book. We dodged another winner when the 4/9 shot hosed in. It doesn’t bear thinking about what we’d have been losing if our monster Cheltenham backer was having a pop.
We dodged another ‘potential bad loser’
4:05 Randox Health Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase (National Course)
Ben did his level best to get On The Fringe in the book in the Foxhunters’. One of the first on the rails to go 7/4 he was desperately trying to spot a plastic bag carrying huntsman to have it on. Stakes were steady but modest, an enthusiastic but not really punting crowd. Then the phone went office laid £2,000 each way Poole Master at big prices to make things interesting. At the off the jolly is a taker in the book, not for want of trying. We’ve had a handful of rags losing four figures too. It was in the lap of the Gambling Gods.
They weren’t smiling on us, the winner Dineur was the worst in the book for over £3,000. Not being able to get the favourite cost us dearly this time.
The Racing Blogger (TWITTER @racingblogger) came to visit the pitch after the race. Did he back the favourite? Not with Star Sports he didn’t – come on Blogger open an account!
4:40 Betway Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
The Betway Red Rum was too hard for the punters, bets were modest from even the bravest backers. At the off we had three losing four figures then the 8/1 winner Double W’s took the book which was very frustrating.
5:15 Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2)
The Bumper failed to ignite the punters, as they set off we had seven losers the worst for over £5000. Anyone who watched the Aintree Preview feed last night would have been on the winner Dame Rose, 25/1 last night, returned 14/1 we ducked it! Aye Aye. See you all tomorrow.