Katie Walsh: My horses to watch on Thursday at Aintree
The Betway ambassador previews all seven races on day one of the Grand National Festival at Aintree.
Gin On Lime gets the mares' allowance in what looks a very weak Grade 1. She’s a keen-going sort but she’s coming here off a break and Henry [De Bromhead] knows how to get them right on the biggest days.
Brazil could be a proper graded horse and I think he could end up being a better jumping prospect than Pied Piper. It’s some task for both of them to have hard races and come back here three weeks later, but I loved the way Brazil stuck his head down in the Boodles. I’d side with him.
I thought Conflated was just getting going when he came down in the Ryanair Chase. Obviously, he’d have had to have gone some to get near Allaho, but he wasn’t far out of it. This is a wide open Betway Bowl and, with the fact he’ll relish this track, I think he’s the one to beat.
Epatante ran another cracker in the Champion Hurdle, despite not getting the last right. She’s been good this season and this step up in trip might just be what she needs now. If she’s going to get this trip, it’ll be here on decent-ish ground, and the 7lb mares' allowance should be the difference in the Betway Aintree Hurdle.
Myth Buster is interesting with Patrick [Mullins] on board. He was very disappointing last time out in a point, but before that he beat a 140-rated horse with ease and that’s some of the best recent form in the race. Patrick is clearly one of the best jockeys in the weighing room, so in this type of race he’s a huge advantage to have on your back. With Betway paying seven places on the race, I think he’s got a grand shot at getting in that frame.
The Red Rum Chase looks very competitive. You could throw a few darts and still not hit the board.
The same could be said for the Mares’ Bumper. Rosy Redrum looked good when second at Newbury last time.
Naughtinesse isn’t being brought over for the fresh air by Lorna Fowler.
Lady Excalibur , meanwhile, was very good here in October.