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Matthew Sutcliffe’s Aintree Value Punts – Day 2

Giovinco

Aintree is already shaping up to be a better meeting for value than Cheltenham before it. That is perfect for our man Matty Sutcliffe to pick out his value bets, of which he has five for day two on Friday.

Published: 1:45pm, Wednesday 10th April (Odds correct at time of publication)

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1:45 Aintree – Huyton Asphalt Franny Blennerhassett Memorial Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+) – Giovinco 8/1 1pt WIN

In the last five seasons, backing every one of Lucinda Russell’s mounts at Aintree to a £1 stake would see you a healthy £64.83 up, and the Brown Advisory Novices’ third GIOVINCO can enhance that record. In the last ten renewals, the Mildmay Novices’ has been won by a horse placed prior at Cheltenham (three times from the Brown Advisory) and I thought Giovinco ran an excellent race behind Fact To File, who’s already being touted as next season’s Gold Cup winner. Stephen Mulqueen allowed Giovinco to pop around in his own time in rear, and I’d say the camp were quite surprised when he was still travelling arguably best off all at one point turning for home, before not quite getting as smooth a passage two out as the eventual winner.

Given he is already a C&D winner, returning here may see him in an even better light and the yard took this with Ahoy Señor in 2022, who was previously placed in the Brown’s Advisory. I’m hoping they have him handier this time as he was likely given too much to do at Cheltenham, and there’s no issues regarding the ground particularly as he’s unbeaten on heavy. 

Huyton Asphalt Franny Blennerhassett Memorial Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

2:20 Aintree – William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) – Making Headway 12/1 1.5 pt EW NAP 5 places 

MAKING HEADWAY has been on my radar since his second to Kamsinas in a G2 at Haydock in November, where I noted how he “kept on strongly without troubling our selection too much, but he showed plenty there to suggest he’ll be of interest in handicaps over an intermediate distance.” He was given a Martin Pipe, but connections have opted to keep him fresh for Aintree and this morning he needed nineteen runners to come out for him to be declared, and somehow he’s snuck in off bottom weight as cloth twenty-two. Finally, we get to see this scopey son of Malinas up in trip, and he could prove to be well ahead of his mark. 

I thought he ran a promising race in the Imperial Cup, particularly given that was his handicap debut. Not for the first time, the looked outpaced throughout at the two mile distance and was overhauled by several two out, seemingly about to backpedal. But he kept on strongly in the manner of one desperate tom go up in trip, coping well with the stiff finish at Sandown and the handicapper was lenient enough to drop him a pound. This point-to-point winner is unbeaten on heavy ground and given he’s hit the frame in both graded starts over a clearly inadequate trip, this intermediate test will see him in a much better light and that handicap debut in the Imperial Cup will brought him on in terms of experience needed in a contest such as this, along with the first time cheek-pieces.

William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)
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4:05 Aintree – Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (Gbb Race) (Class 1) (5yo+) – Frero Banbou 20/1 1pt EW 6 places 

I’d just about given up on the FRERO BANBOU train, who for two seasons now continues to flatter to deceive in these big handicaps. However, when going through the declarations this morning I struggled to see many who will either handle the ground, or are good enough jumpers to cope with the National fences. While may not find an awful lot off the bridle, Frero Banbou will certainly handle the ground and he was foot perfect throughout in the Grand Sefton over C&D in November, and he looks overpriced returning here. 

He’s had a largely consistent season, bumping into Kandoo Kid in December giving him 3lbs for a 2L gap who’s now rated 13lbs higher, before placing in competitive Cheltenham handicaps including a seven length second to the subsequent Plate winner Shakem Up’Arry despite being 2lbs out of the weights. Two poor efforts were then put behind him, as he ran an excellent race from the front in the Plate, travelling strongly throughout though probably did too much upfront and travelling wide throughout. As ever, Charlie Deutsch wasn’t overly hard on him once he was headed just before two out, but what impressed me most was how he kept on well after being passed by several. He’s now 9lbs better off with the winner for the seven lengths defeat, who’s currently an 8/1 chance. 

If Charlie Deutsch has him slightly less handier here, then his proven slick jumping around these fences may counteract his lack of a gear in a finish. He’s a consistent sort who’s only ever been out of the top four in seven of his twenty nine career starts, so particularly from an each way perspective, he can give us a good spin for our money. 

Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

4:40 Aintree – Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) – Cherie D’Am 16/1 0.5pt EW 3 places

Last season we saw a 131-rated mare in Apple Away cause an upset in this race, beating both the Martin Pipe winner Iroko and the Albert Bartlett winner Stay Away Fay, despite being rated 13lbs and 19lbs lower than the pair respectively, and that’s not the first time that Cheltenham runners have disappointed in this race. CHERIE D’AM has a chunk to find with the principles but The Jukebox Man, Readin Tommy Wrong and Dancing will all have had tough races in the Albert Bartlett and that could suit the fresh Cherie D’Am, who wasn’t in defeat to a smart mare in a G2 at Sandown in February. 

Cherie D’am was a winner here on Boxing Day the staying on strongly to win off a mark of 115, which isn’t the most orthodox route of Grade One winners, however Apple Away won a handicap off 113 two starts prior. By Great Pretender out of a Flemensfirth mare, then stepping up to three miles on soft ground should unearth further improvement for Skelton’s mare who could take advantage of her fresher campaign compared to those who had tough races at Cheltenham. 

Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

5:15 Aintree – Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ And Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+) – Jungle Jack 25/1 1pt EW 5 places (6 places with Skybet) 

Aintree has treated the McCain family kindly throughout the years and on the 40th anniversary if Red Rum’s historical retention of his Grand National crown, it would be a poignant winner should JUNGLE JACK provide further Aintree glory for the McCain’s. I assure you this selection is irrespective of sentiment, as this son of Doyen is a consistent sort who is 2lbs lower (5lbs with Kavanagh’s claim factored) than his 15L 9th on the 2m4f handicap on this card last season. 

He was disappointing last time out at Bangor given he’s previously gone well around there, but if we forgive him for that, then he’s well handicapped on his neck second at Kelso in February where he gave 17lbs to the winner who’s now rated 12lbs higher after taking the Morebattle Hurdle next time out, and the second, Ginger Mail, was in behind Jungle Jack that day. 

Dropping back in trip will aid his cause, and given he handles heavy going, any stamina reserves required will be a positive too. Providing he doesn’t blow out like last time, then he’ll be competitive from a forward ride and is wildly overpriced on several bits of back-form.

Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ And Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race)
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Matty Sutcliffe’s Aintree Day 2 Value Punts

1:45 Aintree – Huyton Asphalt Franny Blennerhassett Memorial Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+) – Giovinco 8/1 1pt WIN

2:20 Aintree – William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) – Making Headway 12/1 1.5pt EW NAP 5 places 

4:05 Aintree – Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (Gbb Race) (Class 1) (5yo+) – Frero Banbou 20/1 1pt EW 6 places 

4:40 Aintree – Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) – Cherie D’Am 16/1 0.5pt EW 3 places

5:15 Aintree – Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ And Amateur Riders’ Race) (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+) – Jungle Jack 25/1 1pt EW 5 places (6 places with Skybet) 


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