ITV Racing tips: Waiting Patiently can be rewarded on opening day of Grand National meeting
We are building towards the biggest betting event of the year, when the country’s once-a-year punters finally get to satisfy their Grand National cravings – this time the real thing after the staging of a virtual version 12 months ago.
Cancellation cost the sport the chance to see whether Tiger Roll could emulate Red Rum by winning the race for the third time and he will be missing again from the field after his owners threw a tantrum over his handicap rating.
As a result the Tiger now rocks up on today’s card where he takes on some of the best 3m chasers around in the Betway Bowl, principally to prove a point to the handicapper that he may not be as good as is thought.
It will be a fascinating sub plot on a weaker-than-usual card which, owing to the absence of many of the strong Irish contingent who wiped the floor with the British at Cheltenham, doesn’t quite compare to the Festival in March.
It all unfolds from 14.00pm on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing tips.
Monmiral and Fiveandtwenty defend unbeaten records but, neither having run at the Cheltenham Festival, they could still have their hands full against the David Pipe-trained Adagio.
Adagio produced one of the best performances in defeat of any British runner when splitting Quilixios and Haut En Couleurs in the Triumph Hurdle.
It at least confirmed him as Britain’s leading juvenile hurdler, which he can underline with victory in this all-British affair.
It’s difficult to know what to expect from Tiger Roll for whom this will be a first outing over ‘park’ fences since 2017.
Since then he has focussed on the Grand National and Cross Country races, with the occasional hurdle race thrown in, and coped brilliantly. So he should be able to turn his hand to a more traditional chase like this.
Connections clearly believe he is not up to this level against horses of the calibre of dual Ladbrokes King George winner Clan Des Obeaux and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River.
At his best he should not be out of the equation but will perhaps not be at the level of Waiting Patiently who has run only twice this season but showed what he is capable of when taking second in the King George.
Clan Des Obeaux finished a place behind him and his latest run at Ascot can be excused as it was run over 2m1f and on desperate ground. Patience can be rewarded here.
Not So Sleepy, fifth, Silver Streak, sixth and Abacadabras, an early faller, represent this year’s Champion Hurdle form in this race run over 2m4f, which is significant for the appearance of Buveur D’Air.
The Champion Hurdle winner of 2017 and 2018 had his right forefoot pierced by a wooden stake, which broke off a hurdle, in the 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle and only returned to action at Haydock in January.
He was bound to be a bit ring-rusty and short of match fitness and would not have enjoyed the heavy ground. Plus having missed Cheltenham he will be fresher than most. He won this race in 2017 and was runner-up in 2019.
As long as he has not lost any of his ability he is probably the horse to beat while Not So Sleepy could be an interesting each-way option.
ITV Racing Schedule, Thursday 8th April
14:20 Aintree – 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle
14:50 Aintree – Betway Bowl
15:25 Aintree – Aintree Hurdle
16:05 Aintree – Rose Paterson Foxhunters Chase
16:40 Aintree – Red Rum Handicap Chase
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.