In the betting ring the bookies won on day one. They got a few favourites beaten and were very happy to see some big priced, little backed winners, including a 100-1 shot.
Punters took a pasting. Only Captain Conan and Battle Group were well backed winners of the last two races on the first day of the meeting which culminates on Saturday with the Grand National itself. In the first five races on Thursday the favourites all got beat.
On day two, Friday, the meeting began with a top class win by favourite, the Nicky Henderson trained, My Tent or Yours. AP McCoy cruised to victory in that small field race at an odds on price. Much is expected from that one next season.Dynaste was my second winning tip of the day when the David Pipe trained grey bounced back from disappointment at the Cheltenham festival to win the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at odds of 9-4
The race to watch on Friday was the Melling Chase, a mouthwatering event for those who love jumps racing. Sprinter Sacre has been imperious this season and Friday saw him race over two and a half miles for the first time. Up against classy opposition such as Cue Card and Flemenstar. Would Sprinter Sacre prove he was a class above the rest?The answer was an emphatic YES! Of his nine wins, I thought this was his most impressive. Chiefly because he beat two very good horses, Cue Card and Flemenstar, into second and third place respectively. And he beat them easily. There was plenty left in the Sprinter Sacre tank when jockey Barry Geraghty eased up this beast way before the finishing line.
In the ultra competitive Topham Chase I selected two at each way prices. Tartak fell but one of my long term favourite horses, Walkon, delivered a great run under the stewardship of Wayne Hutchinson (a jockey I rate highly) and the grey battled on to come second for trainer Alan King and members who, like me, backed Walkon each way at 25-1.
We had another winner at Aintree when Tony McCoy delivered the double I suggested when winning on At Fishers Cross at a good SP price of 11-8. There had been doubts if the horse would like the Good ground but At Fishers Cross won easily for trainer Rebecca Curtis.
Many punters had accumulators than included the four favourite winners, My Tent or Yours, Dynaste, Sprinter Sacre and At Fishers Cross. They bashed the bookie at odds of between 14-1 and 16-1.
Well done to all punters who beat the bookie on Friday. Pat yourselves on the back and, remember, do not be in a rush to give it all back to the bookie.
Saturday at Aintree will not be as easy for punters.