Richard Johnson: Wait For Me needs better ground at Aintree
The champion jockey previews every race of the second day at Aintree, including his rides in the Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle and Sefton Novices' Hurdle.
It was a shame La Bague Au Roi couldn’t win the Manifesto Novices’ Chase, but she still ran a nice race. She just seemed to lack a bit of her usual zip when I tried to wind it up.
We’re already looking forward to next season with her, where the King George is the obvious target.
13:45 MERSEYRAIL HANDICAP HURDLE
My first ride of the day comes on Wait For Me in the handicap hurdle.
He ran well to a point in the Pertemps at Cheltenham last time, but I don’t think he quite got the trip.
We’re coming back to two and a half which will suit him better. It’s just a shame it rained so heavily yesterday as he prefers better ground.
He should still run a fair race but I would have been happier if it hadn’t rained.
14:20 BETWAY TOP NOVICES' HURDLE
I’ve no ride in the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle but I think Itchy Feet brings the best form to the table.
He will take all the beating if he performs like he did at Cheltenham when running really well to be third in the Supreme Novices’.
It’s nice to see Olly Murphy have runners on the big days and he certainly deserves it.
The same owners also have Rouge Vif in the race so it’s a nice position for them to be in.
He arrives on the back of a nice win at Kelso and should go well.
14:50 BETWAY MILDMAY NOVICES' CHASE
Topofthegame was a nice winner at Cheltenham and he’s back here in the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase. He’s obviously the most likely winner but it’s not going to be a walkover.
I think it’s between him and Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation . He’s a very consistent type and ran well at Cheltenham behind Defi Du Seuil.
This step up in trip could help him and I think they will fight it out between them.
15:25 MELLING CHASE
The Melling Chase looks a very competitive race and the first three in the market all have good chances.
Politologue won this race 12 months ago, beating Min , and he was an excellent second behind Altior in the Betway Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
I think they are both beatable, though, and Waiting Patiently looks the one. He swerved Cheltenham and heading to Aintree fresh could prove the difference.
If Waiting Patiently can return to the heights of last season, he will take plenty of beating and yesterday’s rain will only help his chances.
16:05 TOPHAM HANDICAP CHASE
If you’re looking for the winner of this, then all I can say is good luck!
The Grand National course will be pretty testing which will suit my fellow Betway ambassador Ross O’Sullivan’s Call It Magic .
He ran really well in the Becher Chase here in December and the drop back in trip should suit perfectly.
16:40 SEFTON NOVICES' HURDLE
My second ride of the day comes on Go Another One for John McConnell in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
He’s much improved and keeps getting better as the season goes on. He will have a chance in a competitive race but again would have preferred the rain to stay away.
Champ’s form is obviously very solid and I don’t think the step up in trip is a worry. They certainly wouldn’t be risking it if they had any concerns.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Master Debonair bounce back to form and in the bumper.
He was disappointing in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham but has some nice form from earlier in the season.
He beat me on Thyme Hill at Cheltenham in November and we went on to finish third in the Champion Bumper last month so, on that form, he could go close.
Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.