17.25 Aintree – Bowen to bag Aintree victory with Rio Gael
The Silvercross Handicap Hurdle is by far the most difficult race on the first day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting to predict.
Considering only two winning favourites have won in the last 22 runnings then the battle between Megastar (8/1) and Get Me Out Of Here (6/1) at the top of the betting market seems pretty irrelevant.
Instead punters should focus on the single Irish runner and one trainer in particular – Welshman Peter Bowen.
Cass Bligh is the only Irish runner in the field and considering the Irish have won four of the last 13 runnings with just a representation rate of 14%.
Cass Bligh’s last appearance at Wexford was a disappointing showing and that’s arguably the reason for his 16/1 price, but the Adrian Murray-trained seven-year-old has won this season and placed in his other two starts.
18 of the previous 22 runners had won at some point this season, criteria Cass Bligh fills and the Irish runner can do his country proud in the final race on the first day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
But the horse he may have to beat is the Peter Bowen trained Rio Gael.
Bowen has saddled just five runners in this race but trained the winner and fourth in 2006, while Special Envoy fell at the last in 2007 when going clear of the field.
Rio Gael is a big price at 20/1 considering his trainers form and having won at Newbury last time out – his second win of the season – Rio Gael comes into this race in good form.
Problem Tic (12/1) and Wyse Hill Teabags (20/1) can also run big races, but the main dangers to Rio Gael are Orsippus (10/1) and Bothy (10/1), whose Cheltenham Festival form has to be respected.
A £20 stake on Rio Gael winning the Silvercross Handicap Hurdle would return £420. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.