Aintree Grand National Festival 2023: Day 1 Tips
As the 2023 Grand National Festival kicks off, all eyes are on the highly anticipated Day 1. The highlight race of the day is the Aintree Bowl, and racing enthusiast Izzy Phillips has shared her expert picks for the day's events. With excitement and anticipation building, fans are looking forward to a thrilling day at the races.
13:45 Racehorse Lotto Manifesto Novices' Chase
It is disappointing that this race has cut up to only 4 runners. I had fancied Banbridge for the Turners at Cheltenham and I was gutted he didn’t run on account of the ground as I still think he would have won. He has good form, being a fast finishing second to El Fabiolo who went on to win the Arkle in impressive fashion. There’ll be no excuses on the ground this time as it looks to be ideal and Joseph O’Brien is coming over with a strong hand. With Banbridge being fresh having not had a run at Cheltenham I’m even more enthusiastic that he will put in a sterling performance - just a shame he’s such a short price now.
2:20 Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle
Milton Harris has always been quite vocal about how good he thinks Scriptwriter is - having cited on occasion that he is better than the very successful Knight Salute. From his win at Wolverhampton in December there’s no denying he retained his decent flat form from when he was with Aidan O’Brien being 5th to the late 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus. Scriptwriter clearly has a turn of foot and if his jumping holds up there’s no reason he couldn’t bounce back. With usual jockey Paddy Brennan booked to ride Greyval there is an interesting jockey booking with Harry Cobden. He needs to turn the tables with Nusret, another who skipped Cheltenham in favour of this meeting, so he has work to do but he is a decent price to do so and I’m not deserting him just yet.
2:55 Alder Hey Aintree Bowl Chase
Selection: A Plus Tard
With all of the runners in the field having run in either the Ryanair or the Gold Cup at Cheltenham we can assume these are those who have come out of the race well enough to be ready to take their chance here. It seems to become a question of who will be the fittest to take this. The one I'm most interested in is A Plus Tard. He seemed to be going well in the Gold Cup prior to being badly hampered - he was pulled up relatively quickly after that and therefore didn’t get involved in the gruelling tail end of the race which could mean he’s relatively ‘fresh’. My only concern with A Plus Tard is trainer form with Henry De Bromhead not being amongst the winners too much at the moment. It’s a really difficult race so I'll probably be hedging my bets between the two or chancing a forecast.
3:30 William Hill Aintree Hurdle
Selection: Constitution Hill to beat Epatante (Forecast) or to win by 6 lengths or more
Constitution Hill’s form says it all really and he doesn’t need a write-up to explain why he’ll win this. His performances are so dominant no other horses are managing to come close. Considering the distances he’s winning his races by the step up to 2m4f is no concern. He’s no value in the market so consider a distance bet or a forecast. After disappointing in the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham last month I believe that Epatante can bounce back and will be the most likely second to Constitution Hill. She gets her mares' allowance here and she should have no issues with the trip having won this race last year.