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The Aintree Special Profiling, Day One

Day one looks uncompetitive to start off with but slowly gets more difficult.

I imagine a fair few will be combining the shorties in multiples but always be aware it’s coming to end of season, they’ve mostly been in training since late summer 2016 and they are ready for a break (I know how they feel!).

Below is the profiling for Day One of the Aintree Festival.

MANIFESTO NOVICES’ CHASE (GRADE 1) (Class 1) (5yo+) Winner £56,130 6 runners 2m3f200y Good

Very disappointing that only six go to post and if Cheltenham form transfers to this race then TOP NOTCH wins because his form is superior.

I will profile it based on what we have seen happening year on year for the last decade.

We only have eight previous running’s of this race and so, it’s limited by way of empirical data and will not take long to sort out, especially given field size.

Four of the eight races to date have been won by six year olds and only two of the six wear that badge:

TOP NOTCH
FLYING ANGEL

Weight range is null because all carry the required 11st 4lb so the only refuge we have left at this point is market position of those previous eight winners.

All eight were located in the top three on the tissue and the favourite has finished in the first two on four occasions, falling once.

The only qualifier here is:

TOP NOTCH

Officially he has 5lb in hand of CLOUDY DREAM and FRODON, who trade second and third favourite.

If Nicky Henderson’s horse brings his A game to the track, he should win.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: TOP NOTCH

DOOM BAR ANNIVERSARY 4-Y-O JUVENILE HURDLE (GRADE 1) (Class 1) (4yo) Winner £56,130 8 runners 2m209y Good To Soft

Another disappointing turn out with just eight going to post.

With all eight aged four, it’s not our starting point here and neither is weight carried, because all running carry 11st.

Therefore only tissue price can point us in the right direction.

The finishing position of the last 10 favourites read: 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 5, 3, 6, 2 so, fair to say whatever is at the head of the market is going to be competitive.

Let’s not beat about the bush. DEFI DU SEUIL has upwards of 10lb in hand here and the odds of 2/7 reflect his chance. He will win if nothing untoward happens.

Can the working man punt it? Of course not but it’s one of those horses you either put in a multiple or, a race you simply watch and save your stake for another event.

Four of the eight taking part are currently 50/1 of bigger and it’s simply disappointing that a first prize of £56k is not being raced for.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: DEFI DU SEUIL

BETWAY BOWL CHASE (GRADE 1) (Class 1) (5yo+) Winner £84,195 7 runners 3m210yGood

£84K to the winner and seven go to post. Poor old Aintree.

It has not been lost on me that we have not got a single Willie Mullins trained runner here tomorrow, nor that Ruby Walsh will be riding at Limerick.

Age grouping. No horse aged 11 has triumphed in the last 10 years….only five have competed and none has placed.

On that basis, I have to lay CUE CARD.

Aged between eight and 10 is the way to go:

EMPIRE OF DIRT
SMAD PLACE
TEA FOR TWO

Again, weight plays no part as all will carry 11st 7lb so, tissue.

The winner has been located in the first pair on the tissue no fewer than seven times in the last 10 years and so, and only one of that trio qualifies:

EMPIRE OF DIRT

If you take the form of his run in the Irish Gold Cup seriously when beaten just ¾ of a length by SIZING JOHN, who went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, you have to think that stepping back up in trip tomorrow is to his advantage.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: EMPIRE OF DIRT

BETWAY AINTREE HURDLE (GRADE 1) (Class 1) (4yo+) Winner £112,260 6 runners 2m4fGood To Soft

You just shake your head at this.

£112k to the winner, six go to post and three of those have absolutely no chance unless a sniper takes the other three out on the way down to the start. Even with a bullet in him, BUVEUR D’AIR should win this pulling a caravan as the current 4/11 market position indicates.

The last five favourites have either won, fallen, with one finishing second.

From an age viewpoint, he fits, from a market position, he fits, he has 5lb in hand of both MY TENT OR YOURS and the new one and is still open to further improvement and realistically it;’s another you put in multiples or, a race you just watch.

POST RACING PREVIEW SELECTION: BUVEUR D’AIR

RANDOX HEALTH FOXHUNTERS’ OPEN HUNTERS’ CHASE (Class 2) (6yo+) Winner £23,720 29 runners 2m5f19y Good To Soft

The fact ON THE FRINGE has won the last two running’s of this slightly skews matters but being “aged” is definitely no barrier to success as seven of the last 10 winners of this have been aged 11+.

That’s my starting point then:

BEAR’S AFFAIR
BIG FELLA THANKS
DARWINS FOX
DINEUR
DISTIME
LOCH BA
MENDIP EXPRESS
MOSCOW CHANCER
MR MOSS
ON THE FRINGE
POOLE MASTER
REBEL REBELLION
RICHMOND
SAM CAVALLARO
VINCITORE

And yet again weight is not going to be taken into account because all cart 12st.

It’s a race that is, traditionally, full of dead wood and most will be simply looking to get around safely, giving their amateurs a great day out.

This is proven by the fact the market has it completely sussed out and the position of the winner, on the tissue has been: 2, 2, 2, 0, 1, 1, ,0, 2, 1, 1

The winner has been in the first two in the market in eight of the last 10 years and you ignore a stat like that only if you’ve a hunch it might go to an outsider for a third time.

ON THE FRINGE

The second favourite is PACHA DU POLDER who, being a 10 year old, will be on my shortlist next year, if he turns up.

Right now though, it looks like Enda Bolger’s record with runners in this race will read four runners in the last 10 years, three winners, one placed.

Ridden by Jamie Codd, who is by some way the best amateur rider anywhere right now, he looks extremely short at 7/4 to win a race like this but I honestly cannot find one to beat him and, granted the luck you need in getting round this course, he should win.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: ON THE FRINGE

BETWAY RED RUM HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE 3) (Class 1) (5yo+) Winner £50,643 15 runners 1m7f176y Good

At last, a race to give some serious thought to.

I will be providing Ratings for this in the morning Newsletter but let’s see where Profiling takes us.

This is not easy to solve. Three of the last four winners went in at 20/1, 16/1, 33/I and last years winner, the 9/1 shot KATACHENKO, and he figured in the final group of five, before I opted to go looking for a novice.

This was how it came out last year:

BETFRED RED RUM CHASE

I have rated this and you will have my figures tomorrow morning.

From a profiling point of view it’s certainly funky. Age, weight…tell us nothing, such is the spread.

My figures for last season’s race were bang on:

AINTREE 4-40

* – PARSNIP PETE….+10
* – SURF AND TURF….+9 – WON 40/1 > 33/1
T* – ROYAL REGATTA….+1
* – ASTRACAD….-7
T* – TED VEALE….-14
T* – DARWINS FOX….-24 – 2nd 14/1
T* – KARINGA DANCER….-28
* – NEXT SENSATION….-29
T* – CLARET CLOAK….-35
* – ARNAUD….-35
T* – BABY MIX….-35
* – DRESDEN….-35
T – NED BUNTLINE….-40
H* – BELENOS….-40
T – ENJOY RESPONSIBILITY….-40
PEARLS LEGEND….-40
T – DEFINITE DREAM….-40

I had not profiled this last year but didn’t need to!

That winner came into this in much better form last season but it’s end of season and anything can happen!

I know Carl Hinchy, the current owner, bought the horse after having had a decent bet @ 40/1.

However, trying to win this for a second consecutive year is akin to climbing Everest without ropes, sherpas and oxygen.

In the last 10 years eight have tried to come back 12 months later and their finishing positions have been 2, 7, P, 9, R, F, 6, 0

Getting a stats angle is tough. The last eight winners have been aged 9, 8, 11, 5, 6, 7, 6, 9

The weight range is impossible to box off, those eight winners carrying everything from 9st 9lb to 11st 11lb.

We’ve had horses winning from out of the handicap proper,

As they would be my starting points I’m stumped.

Novices have won seven of the last 14 running’s and I’m very much inclined to work with an improving one at this point of the season, as opposed to one that “established’ as the potential for further improvement is there whilst those having “been there, done it” are less likely to be getting any better than they are.

I’m going to try and stretch a couple of things, just to get some kind of conclusion.

The winners of 11 of the last 18 running’s were in the front five on the tissue….that’s better than 50% so, let’s go there:

DANDRIDGE
SOLAR IMPULSE
MINELLA PRESENT
KATACHENKO
VICONTE DE NOYER

I’m going to suggest we run with a novice and only two fit the bill:

DANDRIDGE
MINELLA PRESENT

The second of that pair was the horse I had chosen as ‘the one” for Cheltenham, that missed the cut for the Grand Annual, the race in which DANDRIDGE ran a cracker to be second to SOLAR IMPULSE.

That race is a cracking good guide to this one and I have to run with DANDRIDGE.

I’m very much of a mind MINELLA PRESENT will find himself done for speed when they quicken here and you might recall my saying he should have gone for the longer novice race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The trainer of DANDRIDGE has saddled two previous winners of this race and if I can say I’ve one that fits from a profiling angle, he’s it.

POST RACING SELECTION – DANDRIDGE – 20/80

Let’s see how things look this year:

From an age point of view the only thing I could say is, anything older than nine has no chance.

Across the ages below 10 it’s a very even spread with six, seven, eight and nine year olds two apiece and a five year old won it in 2012.

That was trained by Paul Nicholls and he saddles another here in ROMAIN DE SENAM.

So, age criteria no good. Weight?

Again, it’s a pretty even spread with two horses in the weight range 10st – 10st 5lb having produced two winners, 10st 6lb – 10st 13lb three, 11st – 11st 6lb two and 11st 7lb – 11st 13lb one.

Where do we go then?

Tissue? The finishing position of the last 10 favourites:

0, 4, 1, 0, F, 1, P, 3, P, P

Position of the winner in the market?

3, 0, 1, 0, 6, 1, 0, 5, 0, 6

Shall we start by saying that with six of those 10 winners having been located in the top six on the tissue, we produce the following short list?

THEINVAL
DANDRIDGE
DOUBLE W’S
ASTRE DE LA COUR
ALISIER D’IRLANDE
GINO TRAIL
FOXTAIL HILL
BUN DORAN
ROMAIN DE SENAM

The bottom four are all 12/1 right now so all have to be included.

I so nearly got this spot on last season as the Profile selection was beaten just ½ a length at 7/1 and DANDRIDGE is in that list above now, too.

The record of novices, and the fact I came so close last season to getting it correct, I’m plumping for those again:

THEINVAL
DOUBLE W’S
ASTRE DE LA COUR
GINO TRAIL
FOXTAIL HILL
BUN DORAN
ROMAIN DE SENAM

A few more than last year at this point.

I do not want a horse onside that won last time out as only one such beast has come here of the back of a win in the last 10 years, and taken this:

THEINVAL
DOUBLE W’S
ASTRE DE LA COUR
FOXTAIL HILL
BUN DORAN
ROMAIN DE SENAM

We lose only one.

Four of the last five winners arrived having finished second or third on their last appearance:

THEINVAL
ASTRE DE LA COUR

Down to a pair and given the nature of this race, I’d be dutching.

Looking for a solo play, I’d be looking to ground, trip and track stats.

THEINVAL is 2-8 ground, 1-7 trip and 1-2 track
ASTRE DE LA COUR is 1-4 ground, 3-14 trip and 1-1 track

Both look a play based on those stats allied to Profiling.

My solution is going to be based on the record of Nicky Henderson trained runners in this. He has saddled 10 in the last 10 years and had just one place.

Robert Walford has his very first runner in this and so, I’ll hand that one the Profile badge.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: ASTRE DE LA COUR

GOFFS NICKEL COIN MARES’ STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE (GRADE 2) (Class 1) (4-6yo) Winner £25,322 18 runners 2m209y Good To Soft

Last year I told you from the outset that you needed to be looking for your winner in the top five on the tissue….and the winner was fifth best at the off.

With a shrug (because Bumpers are a law unto themselves), we start there:

IRISH ROE
PETTICOAT TAILS
SWEETLITTLEMYSTERY
SHEARLING
MARTELLO PARK
POLLY’S PURSUIT
SASSY DIVA

Again, because a couple trade at the same price currently, so we’ll let them in.

I’m going to run with five year olds next because they’ve won five of the last 10 and three of the last four:

PETTICOAT TAILS
MARTELLO PARK
POLLY’S PURSUIT

That leaves us a trio.

Favourites have a shocking record with just one of the last 10 entering the winner’s enclosure so I drop PETTICOAT TAILS, who is currently around the 3/1 mark.

MARTELLO PARK
POLLY’S PURSUIT

Down to a brace.

Given the record of the Henderson stable in this I have to row in with POLLY’S PURSUIT.

Nicky has run 12 in this, had two winners and one placed and that’s the “decider”.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: POLLY’S PURSUIT

Kindest regards

Ron

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