The Wizard of Odds guides you through Friday’s racing at Aintree and Wincanton
IT’S Haul or nothing at Aintree today.
HAUL AWAY comes to the 2.25 looking for this fifth win on the spin and Nicky Henderson’s progressive hurdler can come home in front.
He has been remarkably consistent with victories at Southwell, Newton Abbot and Fontwell twice. His most recent came on handicap debut and he was always doing enough without looking too flashy.
That could explain why the handicapper has taken a bit of a risk by hiking him just 3lb for that effort, which came three weeks ago.
This trip is ideal and he has plenty of zip, which is a big asset on Aintree’s flat track.
CLOUDY DREAM (3.00 Aintree) can open his account for new trainer Donald McCain at the first time of asking.
MOLTEN MAGNA Magna Grecia sails home to give Aidan O’Brien ninth win in Vertem Futurity
Ginger’s lad has picked up a nice chaser even though he didn’t quite reach the heights with Ruth Jefferson last season. He was still present in several top races with his third in the Ryanair Chase standing out.
Although he hasn’t managed to win on the Milmay course, he was a good second in this 12 months ago and the bit of cut in the ground should be ideal.
This is a hot race with Frodon and Value At Risk looking like the main dangers. The former has had a breathing operation since a couple of modest runs at Cheltenham towards the end of last season. That should help, while Value At Risk was last seen winning a Listed race at Ayr, which is also decent form.
Wizard’s top tips
LUCKY 15: HAUL AWAY (2.25 Aintree), CLOUDY DREAM (3.00 Aintree), DROVERS LANE (3.35 Aintree), MAGICAL THOMAS (4.30 Fontwell).
EACH-WAY DOUBLE: READY AND ABLE (1.15 Aintree) is gunning for a hat-trick of wins and has an excellent 6lb claimer in the saddle. Pair him with BALLYBOKER BREEZE (1.50 Aintree) who saves his best for Aintree and likes this trip. He would have finished close at Ayr last time but for unseating his rider three out.
DROVERS LANE should run a big race in Aintree’s 3.35.
He was a useful hurdler but already looks capable of making a much bigger splash in the chasing sphere.
He took to fences like an old pro when scooting in by nine lengths on his debut at Hereford last time. That was in a good race for the track so this isn’t a sharp step up in class.
It was the way he travelled that caught the eye and he gave the impression that the winning margin could have been even further.
You would expect improvement and he looks like a young chaser to keep an eye on.
MAGICAL THOMAS looks the best bet at Wincanton in their finale at 4.30.
He is dropping in class after going down by less than a length at Fontwell last time out. He had earlier won there and at Stratford.
The handicapper hasn’t overreacted to those wins and he may well have scored last time but for losing a shoe. He’s off a similar mark today over an ideal trip so should be right on the premises again.
12.40 Aye Aye Charlie
1.15 Ready And Able ew
1.50 Ballyboker Breeze ew
2.25 HAUL AWAY (NAP)
3.00 Cloudy Dream
3.35 Drovers Lane
1.00 Bubble O’Clock
2.10 Darling Maltaix
3.20 Rhythm Is A Dancer
3.55 Cheeky Rascal
4.30 Magical Thomas