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Backing Cheltenham winners no sure-fire route to Aintree profit

| 04.04.2016

Coming so soon after the Cheltenham Festival, it can seem difficult to look beyond the champions of March at Aintree’s Grand National Meeting.

Of the six races already priced up for the shindig, four have a favourite that scored in the Cotswolds last month.

Ivanovitch Gorbatov is even money to win the Juvenile Hurdle, while Annie Power is 1/2 for the Aintree Hurdle, On The Fringe is 6/4 to land the Foxhunters and Empire Of Dirt is 10/1 to bag the Topham.

As a rule, however, it pays to overlook Cheltenham winners at Aintree.

Over the past three seasons 24 horses have attempted to double up after scoring at Prestbury Park, with only seven succeeding.

The same amount found only one too good on Merseyside, while three more were able to secure bronze medals at the latter get-together.

While similar sets of protagonists may suggest that races at the March event have a natural opposite number at Aintree, it’s far from the case.

The latter track lacks the undulations of Prestbury Park and places less of an emphasis on stamina and more of an onus on speed for contestants.

In addition, seemingly-equivalent races are often contested over differing distances.

Having scored over 2m at the Festival, champion hurdler Annie Power will run over 2m4f in the Aintree Hurdle, for example.

Cheltenham winners are generally sent off at short prices at Aintree, with those already quoted no exception.

As such, a policy of opposing them can be a short cut to value betting.

If there is an exception to be made to this blanket opposition to March champions then it should be made for progressive-looking handicap winners stepping into graded company.

In the last three years Holywell, Whisper and Lac Fontana have all stepped up in class successfully at Aintree after scoring in weight-for-ratings affairs at Prestbury Park.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds