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The Mandarin’s Aintree Racecard for Saturday 13th April 2024

The Mandarin’s Aintree Racecard for Saturday 13th April

William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) 1.20
Gwennie May Boy
It could pay to side with Gwennie May Boy for Saturday’s opener, who’s two from two since joining Dan Skelton from Jonjo O’Neill. He needs to take another step forward here, but is unexposed and showed at Uttoxeter that he’ll handle deep ground when he finished that race off strongly. Stablemate West Balboa has to enter calculations on this soft going, with Harry Skelton is on board this time, while Cuthbert Dibble is another going the right way for Nigel Twiston-Davies and can make the frame. Charlie Todd to get even more out of Gwennie May Boy and bring up the hat-trick

Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.55
Jimmy Du Seuil
Runner-up to stablemate Ballyburn in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and has an excellent chance to go one better here. Considering that Ballyburn looks just about the cream of the crop in the Novice Hurdling division, Jimmy Du Seuil can shrug off the 13 length gap in that race where Willie Mullins remarkably fielded the first five home. Caldwell Potter has made an expensive move to new owners that include Sir Alex Ferguson, but has been off the track for a fair while, so fellow Irish raider, Brighterdaysahead may rate the main danger. Plenty of depth in this field, but Jimmy Du Seuil is the one to follow

William Hill Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 2.30
Forward Plan
Anthony Honeyball holds the key to this Handicap Chase with his progressive gelding Forward Plan. With four wins and three runners-up spots from his nine starts over fences, he’s accumulating a fine strike rate, and showed plenty of grit to almost snatch the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster back in January. He made no mistake next time out in the Coral Trophy with Ben Godfrey back in the driving seat, and clearly acts well on these flattish tracks. Forward Plan to make it a third win of the season with conditions to suit

JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle (Grade 1) 3.05
Flooring Porter (nap)
Flooring Porter only found Teahupoo too good in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham this year, the crown he took in 2021 and 2022. The last two seasons he’s conceded to Sire Du Berlais in this race, but had over 10 lengths on that rival in the Stayers’ last month, so lines up here in fine form. Crambo was well held in that race, but can bounce back from the odd off-day, so makes the shortlist, but Flooring Porter is the one they will all aim at, with Keith Donoghue knowing what it takes to get the job done

Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 4.00
Mr Incredible
Mr Incredible showed in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter that he’s got the stamina for this, with a fine second in that 4 mile plus race from top weight. He was going well over these fences last year, until the saddle slipped and unshipped a hapless Brian Hayes after Valentine’s on the second circuit. What does it take to win a Grand National these days? Well, it’s now a really competitive Handicap Chase, so look for a age of eight and up, a weight of 10st8lbs – 11st8lbs, previous experience of these National Course fences is a plus, a light campaign and a huge slice of luck. Mr Incredible meets all of those criteria, and surely deserves better luck this time than the saddle slipping. There’s been plenty of support in the ante-post markets for last year’s winner, Corach Rambler, but it’s deeper ground than last year, while Limerick Lace makes plenty of appeal on form, but no mare has won this since Nickel Coin in 1951. John McConnell’s Mahler Mission has been aimed at this, and makes the shortlist along with Ultima third, Meetingofthewaters and I Am Maximus from Willie Mullins yard. Home hope Kitty’s Light will be one of the last to throw in the towel, but this is going to Ireland this year, with Mr Incredible ticking all the boxes

My Pension Expert Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 5.00
Found A Fifty (nb)
Gordon Elliott gets his chance to go to the winner’s enclosure with Found A Fifty. Although no match for Gaelic Warrior in the Arkle at Cheltenham, this Grade 1 looks far calmer waters, and he wouldn’t have to improve from the Cheltenham race to land this. The main dangers are Dan Skelton’s Etalon, who needs to step forward from handicap company into this Grade, but is one going the right way for the in-form yard, and Willie Mullins’s Hercule Du Seuil, who’s been on a prolific run since the Autumn of 2022, winning eight from his last ten, and has been kept fresh for this. Found A Fifty to just be too good for this field, and can take Grade 1 honours for the Cullentra stable

Weatherbys Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Grade 2) 5.35
Mister Meggit
It’s worth hanging around for the last race of the Aintree Festival to see Mister Meggit, who looks something out of the top drawer for Jonjo O’Neill. A 12 length winner on his debut under rules at Carlisle back in November, and when next seen at Doncaster on desperate ground, Mister Meggit never came off the bridle and cruised home 4 lengths clear. Jonjo O’Neill only slipped a couple of inches of rein at the half-furlong pole for that win, such was his confidence. Exciting

The Mandarin

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