Thrilling action in store on day two of Grand National Festival at Aintree

Aintree racecourseAintree racecourse
Aintree racecourse
Day two of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National meeting features four Grade Ones live from Aintree.

With the likes of Chantry House, Dashel Drasher, Politologue and Dusart in action, it promises to be a fascinating day of action. We have previewed the pick of the action with stats and analysis.

The feature race of the day is the £187,000 Melling Chase (3.25pm) in which Fakir D’oudairies chases a first Grade One success this term. Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the six-year-old was an excellent second in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month and looks sure to be suited by better ground conditions in this two and a half-mile event.

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His main rivals are headed by Politologue who is a former winner of this race and comes here fresh having been withdrawn before the start of the Champion Chase. He is a notable player along with Dashel Drasher who beat Master Tommytucker in the Ascot Chase last time out.

Nuts Well is a proven winner over course and distance winner is another name to note along with Itchy Feet who reverts to fences having finished fifth over hurdles last time out.

Elsewhere on the card, Chantry House bids to cement his Cheltenham Festival victory with success in the £75,000 Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2.50pm). The seven-year-old oozed class with an easy success in that race and looks a leading player here.

Fiddlerontheroof and the Big Breakaway were second and third in the RSA Novices’ Chase last time out and the Colin Tizzard-trained duo look sure to go close, with The Big Breakaway interesting on the pick of his form.

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Shan Blue is a Grade One winner this term, but disappointed at the Cheltenham Festival last time out when racing too freely. He is a danger back on a flat track, as is the progressive Espoir De Romay who has won two of his three starts this season.

Sporting John is another Grade One winner and is worth noting despite falling at the Cheltenham Festival on his latest start, whilst last time out winners Empire Steel and Silver Hallmark complete the eight runners.

The Grade One Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (2.20pm) carries a prize fund of £75,000 and has attracted an interesting field of 10 runners. Dusart is highly regarded by Nicky Henderson and scored in fine style on his debut at Newbury, defeating subsequent Betfair Hurdle hero Soaring Glory in the process.

However, this is a major step up and he takes on the prolific Ajero who has won his last four starts and Third Time Lucki who shaped with plenty of promise when sixth in the County Hurdle to Belfast Banter at the Cheltenham Festival.

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The Paul Nicholls-trained Houx Gris will have benefitted from the experience when fourth in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival and is another to note along with For Pleasure, a good third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The other Grade One on the card is the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (4.40pm) featuring Bravemansgame for Paul Nicholls. A solid third in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the six-year-old looks a leading player for this event, given he should be suited by drying ground and the flat track on offer at Aintree.

Friday Aintree Selections

1.45pm Edwardstone 8/1

2.20pm Ajero 6/1

2.50pm Chantry House 13/8

3.25pm Fakir D’oudairies 11/4

4.05pm Modus 12/1

4.40pm Bravemansgame 15/8

5.15pm Tomorrow Mystery 9/2

Latest Grand National betting with Betway 4/1 Cloth Cap; 8/1 Burrows Saint; 10/1 Any Second Now, Minella Times; 11/1 Kimberlite Candy; 14/1 Discorama, Secret Reprieve; 18/1 Farclas, Magic Of Light; 20/1 Bristol De Mai, Potters Corner, Some Neck; 25/1 Milan Native; 28/1 Bar