Aintree Thursday Day 1 Tips: Back Mullins on Merseyside

 | 9th April | 

4 mins read

Aintree Grand National Festival Day 1 Thursday Tips

Aintree's Grand National Festival begins on Thursday with a superb seven-race card - running from 13:45 to 17:15 - that features four Grade Ones.

Three of my Aintree Thursday Day 1 tips run in those top-class contests, while my fourth and final fancy goes in the day's only handicap.

Aintree Thursday Day 1 Tips

  • 13:45 - Il Etait Temps @ 7/2
  • 14:55 - Shishkin @ 3/1
  • 15:30 - Impaire Et Passe @ 15/8
  • 16:40 - Homme Public e/w (4 places) @ 10/1

13:45 - Il Etait Temps @ 7/2

Willie Mullins, who's making a sensational bid for the UK Trainers' Championship, sends a powerful team to Merseyside - starting with IL ETAIT TEMPS in the G1 Manifesto Novices' Chase.

The six-year-old has impressed over fences this term, winning easily on his debut at Thurles back in November before finding stablemate Gaelic Warrior too good in a Grade 1 at Limerick over Christmas.

He then recorded his second success at the highest level when taking the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival in February, before placing in the big one at Cheltenham the following month.

While he was a long way behind the ultra-impressive Gaelic Warrior and just over four lengths away from Found A Fifty that day, a lot went wrong at a track he's never really enjoyed and I actually thought it was a fine run.

Upped in trip back on a flat track ought to see the best of Paul Townend's mount, who should be that little bit fresher than rivals Grey Dawning and Ginny's Destiny who had a tough battle in the Turners Novices' Chase, 48 hours after the Arkle, at Prestbury Park.

Il Etait Temps to win the 13.45 Aintree at 7-2

14:55 - Shishkin @ 3/1

Three-mile chasers do battle in the Bowl - another Grade 1 - just over an hour later.

Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Gerri Colombe is sure to prove popular, but I'm taking him on with SHISHKIN for Nicky Henderson.

I'll be sweating if Sir Gino flops in the opener, suggesting things remain uncertain at Seven Barrows, but that's already factored into his price as far as I'm concerned. I can't believe the 10-year-old would be so big if the stable wasn't under a cloud - and if it no longer is, the six-time Grade 1-winner has every chance of backing up last year's success.

Since then he's refused to race at Ascot, unseated at the second-last when looking the likely winner of the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day and won the G2 Denman Chase at Newbury by a widening 4¼ lengths.

That's still a high level of form and it's a huge plus that he comes here fresh against rivals who had tough runs at Cheltenham - namely Gerri Colombe, Bravemansgame, Ahoy Senor and Gentlemansgame.

Corbetts Cross also ran at the Festival but had an easy time of it in the National Hunt Chase, however he's just a novice with plenty to find on official ratings, as does rank outsider Thunder Rock.

Shishkin to win the 14.55 Aintree at 3-1

15:30 - Impaire Et Passe @ 15/8

The Aintree Hurdle looks a match between former Ballymore - now Gallagher - winners Bob Olinger and IMPAIRE ET PASSE.

The former has looked back to his best this season, winning a couple of Grade 2s over intermediate trips before a fine second in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Henry de Bromhead's nine-year-old was five lengths ahead of Willie Mullins' Impaire Et Passe that day, but that was not even close to the latter's running as far as I'm concerned. The front-running experiment over the minimum trip didn't work, so I'm willing to ignore that run completely.

Back up in trip and ridden more patiently, I fancy him to get the better of his market rival.

His form over middle distances reads 1112, with that one defeat coming at the hands of subsequent Stayers' Hurdle hero Teahupoo - and it's easy to forget he's only six and very lightly-raced, so there could still be plenty of improvement to come.

This is the NAP.

Betfred will return your stake (up to £10) as a free bet if your horse finishes second in the Aintree Hurdle.

Impaire Et Passe to win the 15.30 Aintree at 15-8

16:40 - Homme Public e/w (4 places) @ 10/1

Finally, I'm suggesting HOMME PUBLIC each-way - with four places on offer - for the Red Rum Handicap Chase.

Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero's seven-year-old has taken his form to new heights since going chasing at the start of the season, winning three of his four starts in that discipline.

Amazingly, he's been raised just seven pounds for doing so, which marks him as a well-handicapped individual with a race like this in him.

Heavy ground is a slight concern, but the son of Cokoriko stayed on powerfully to win at Doncaster the last day and despite the official going reading good to soft, it was changed to heavy less than an hour later so there's optimism on that front.

Homme Public each-way for the 16.40 Aintree at 10-1

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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