Racing tip of the day
Ian Brindle heads to Aintree for his tip of the day and thinks the Irish have a strong hand in the finale.
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BUSTY BROWN - 5.25 Aintree
"The bigger the field the bigger the certainty" is something I've often heard in my many years of punting and largely, like many comments you've heard over the years, it's a theory that doesn't exactly stand up to much in the way of statistical scrutiny.
Backers of Mossey Joe will be hoping that will be the case in the Fox Hunters at 3.40 and while I think his class will see him through, I'm not about to state the obvious regarding his chances.
Noel Meade is never one to send his horses across the water without them being in tip-top condition and with a formbook chance and I think BUSTY BROWN could be the one to be with in the nightcap.
The eight-year-old's two previous victories have obtained on heavy going previously but don't be fooled into thinking that he's a one-trick pony in that regard as he has run a number of creditable races on good ground; and one in particular for previous connections in a bumper at Cork appears significant.
Admittedly the trip is something of an unknown but Aintree's hurdle course isn't exactly the most taxing from a stamina perspective and he's given every indication so far that he should stay.
Jetson ran well in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and Jessie Harrington's nine-year-old can take advantage of Paddy Kennedy's 5lb claim.
This is a race where the Brits have traditionally done well and the potential fly in the ointment to all could be Riverside Theatre.
If Nicky Henderson's ten-year-old retains any zest for the game, the handicapper's decision to allot a mark of 145 could leave a fair amount of egg on his face.
Spirit Of Shankly is sure to be popular with the locals on account of the name alone while Meister Eckhart looks a massive price to hit the frame, if a surprisingly modest run at Cheltenham is overlooked and Philip Hobbs really does look to be leaving no stone unturned in his bid for the prize with four runners taking their chance in the line up.
But...as I said "the bigger the field, the bigger the certainty" yeah?