Full race preview and free betting tips for the 2.30pm Mildmay Chase at Aintree on Day 2 of the Grand National Festival.
This year’s renewal of the Mildmay Novices’ Chase has attracted a field of six runners who have all contested races at the Cheltenham Festival with varying degrees of success. In what looks a tricky contest, jumping precision will be crucial for these novice chasers.
The Rebecca Curtis trained O’Faolains Boy (5/2 Stan James) stayed on determinedly up the Cheltenham hill to deny Smad Place in an RSA Chase thriller last month, prevailing by a neck in what is notoriously a tough race for novice chasers. This race comes three weeks later and with that in mind there has to be a concern as to whether that race will have left its mark. It was a hard race, made harder by the fact he lost one shoe and twisted another during his battle. This shows the horse is willing to give everything, but with the ground drying up, there are plenty concerns.
Another who ran in the RSA was the Oliver Sherwood trained – MANY CLOUDS (13/2 SkyBet) who was desperately unlucky to be bought down by Don Cossack when running a fine race. He finished second behind O'Faolains Boy in the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot in February, conceding weight, and at level weights today will be an obvious advantage. Like O’Faolains Boy, he could do with a drop of rain, but if it didn’t come I wouldn’t be too worried. I think what happened in Cheltenham might actually work in his favour, as he ended up hardly having a race. This horse has potential, and given the fact that he didn't suffer a hard race at Cheltenham, he could well run a huge race.
Don Cossack (8/1 William Hill) also re-opposes in this 3m 1f Grade One contest. He was travelling ok when coming down in the RSA and, like Many Clouds, didn’t have too hard a race at Cheltenham. His form was consistent until this fall but yet again is another who would benefit from a drop of rain. Jockey Davy Russell is taking full advantage of the absence of Bryan Cooper, and is riding out of his skin at the moment.
Festival handicap winner Holywell (3/1 BetVictor) lines up in the race with Tony McCoy taking over in the saddle from Richie McLernon. This horse is a real gutsy type and gives his all in each race he contests. AP gets as much of a good tune out of the horse as McClernon and his Festival win was in an extremely competitive race, with the likes of The Package, Green Flag an Alfie Sherrin behind him. On that form alone he is in with a lively chance. He is a model of consistency, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out on top.
Yesterday’s Betfred Bowl winning trainer Paul Nicholls sends two to the race, Just A Par (20/1 Stan James) and Wonderful Charm (7/2 William Hill), ridden by Nick Scholfield and Sam Twiston-Davies respectively. Wonderful Charm started the season off well but hasn’t shown much in the last couple of races and Just a Par has failed to show the ability connections thought he had. They’re are probably both best watched.
In such a competitive field I’ve opted for MANY CLOUDS on the basis that he looks progressive and full of potential. Both trainer, Oliver Sherwood, and jockey Leighton Aspell, have had a fantastic season so far, and this would top it off nicely for the pair.
MANY CLOUDS (WIN) (13/2 SkyBet)
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