Day two of the Aintree Festival goes on Friday with the first of seven races at 1.45pm. There’s plenty to keep punters and sports lovers busy before the shutters come down at 5.15pm and backers will be eager to take advantage of the big prices and competitive fields available. Here are our top Aintree Day 2 betting tips and predictions.
Excitement is building as we near the 2019 Grand National and you can read our in-depth preview of the big one on the horse racing section of our site. Before making your selections, however, it’s worth picking a few from Friday in an attempt to boost your betting balance for an assault on Saturday’s schedule.
Friday gets going with the Grade 3 handicap hurdle and that delight is followed by Grade 1 Top Novices Hurdle, Grade 1 Mildmay Novices Hurdle, Grade 1 Melling Chase, Grade 3 Topham Handicap Chase, Grade 1 Sefton Novices Hurdle and the Grade 2 NH Flat Race.
A real treat for those choosing to tune in to the live action on ITV or watching the races on one of the many available sports betting apps, such as Coral who allow you to view every race live on your mobile or tablet device free of charge.
Watching on with an interest in the outcome is enjoyable, but it can’t compare to backing your opinions with hard cash and cheering on a winner. Thankfully, our team of horse racing enthusiasts and sports betting experts have done the hard work, so you don’t have to.
We’ve trawled through the runners and riders and returned with our views on where the smart money goes on the day’s best races. We also flag up which bookmakers are offering market best price, ensuring you get the most for your stake money.
Melling Chase – 3.25pm Aintree
The Melling Chase, known as the JLT Chase this year for sponsorship reasons, is a Grade 1 contest fought out over 2m 3f. Politologue claimed the prize money last year for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies, a partnership who are no strangers to the winner’s enclosure at major meetings, of course. With over £140,000 promised to this year’s champion, it’s no surprise to see some of the best and brightest in the game come out to shine.
We have a talented field going to post and the outcome has left some backers scratching their head, but bookmakers are confident they have the winner picked when pinning Waiting Patiently to the head of the betting. At the time of writing, there’s no more than 2/1 available with Bet365. That may be on the short side for some punters looking to land a blow on the bookies, but the price tag is fully deserved, and the jolly will take all the beating.
He arrives in Liverpool with a record showing seven wins and three runner-up slots from 11 previous goes and the eight-year-old gelding, trained by Ruth Jefferson, was seen ending behind Cyrname in the Ascot Chase last time out, beaten an incredible 17 lengths that day after failing to land a blow on the eventual winner.
That may put a few off backing this race’s shortest price but there’s talent there and we saw that when Waiting Patiently won the very same race 12 months earlier, crossing the line almost three lengths ahead of Cue Card in second, a result that won him plenty of fans. Since that victory, however, he unseated Barry Hughes in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day and was then second at Ascot.
If you do fancy taking a risk on one at a bigger price you may be interested in Politologue who has been scratched up as a 5/2 second favourite to successfully defend his crown. He has won nine times already but hasn’t stuck his head in front since banking the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot in November off an SP 5/4 favourite. Since then he has posted two fourths and was beaten into second by Altior at Prestbury Park last time.
Looking further down the pecking order and we find Min third favourite, but he still carries a 3/1 quote with Bet365, ahead of Top Notch at 10/1 (Ladbrokes) and Hell’s Kitchen 14/1 with the same firm. God’s Own is a 40/1 poke with some firms and that won’t go unnoticed, with the field made up by Woodland Opera at a chunky 66/1.
Topham Handicap Chase – 4.05pm Aintree
There’s not a lot of value in the Melling Chase but lovers of big prices have more to go on here as the field is headed by Top Wood at 16/1 – best price when playing your stake money at 888Sport. That shows odds-makers are no wiser than anyone else as to how this one might play out, taking up position on the fence and allowing punters to work it out for themselves. That’s great news for us as we love taking advantage of any indecision on the trading floor. It’s easy to shoot for an outsider in this race and each-way backers will get 1/5 the odds a place 1-2-3-4-5.
On the Road to Riches
The one to carry our stake money will be Road To Riches which can be backed at 22/1 with 888Sport. Be careful who you trust on that one as every other firm offer only 20/1, which is a fine price, of course, but punters don’t want to be taking two points less than they can get elsewhere. Open an account with 888Sport if you don’t already have one, take advantage of the exclusive welcome offer and grab a cracking 22/1 on our selection.
Road To Riches is a 12-year-old gelding running out of the talented Christie yard and has placed in each of his last three goes. The bay placed third at Aintree last time out when running in the Foxhunters Chase on the National Course, finishing behind Top Wood and Burning Ambition who were both well clear of the pack. If our pick can run to the best of his ability he will push for the prize places again.