Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Friday; Virgilio in 19:05 and Aiaam Al Namoos 20:10 both at Aintree . Compare odds and bet.
After a thoroughly convincing success on his British debut at Wawrick last Saturday Virgilio (7:05) is likely to prove difficult to beat under a 7lb penalty at Aintree on Friday evening.
Dan Skelton’s six-year-old bolted up in a much weaker race, but the trainer was quick to nominate this contest as his next port of call and you have to feel this has been part of a long-term plan. If the race doesn’t come too quickly for him, the Denham Red gelding can strike again and opened up 2-1 with Bet365 on Thursday.
If you are looking to take the market leader on Kayf Blanco can go well at double-figure odds, while River Maigue returns to hurdling on the same mark from which he finished third in a Listed event at Sandown in December 2013. Things haven’t gone to plan for Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old since, but he is certainly capable of out-running his odds in this grade.
Later on the card, the extended 3m handicap hurdle is the race that appeals most from a punting perspective all day (or night). There’s a couple in here that did well for this column last season, the first being Aiaam Al Namoos (8:10) who returns to action here after 130 days off.
A winner at Musselburgh on his handicap bow when last seen, John Wade’s Doncaster bumper winner appeared to relish the trip and drying ground on that occasion and could easily be up to defying an 11lb rise, as well as the sharp rise in class.
The Teofilo gelding finished 9th here in the Grade 2 bumper on Grand National day last year and he remains of interest off this sort of mark. He opened up 9-1 with a couple of firms on Thursday evening and is worthy of each-way support.
If you want to split stakes, have a saver on Looking Well who was trading at 7s overnight. Nicky Richards’ imposing Gold Well gelding has gone up just 5lbs for last month’s Kelso handicap success, having won a Newcastle novice the time before.
Given how strongly he finished over 2m6½f last time, the extra couple of furlongs should really suit and a big run is expected, before he goes chasing in the autumn.
7:05 Aintree Virgilio
8:10 Aintree Aiaam Al Namoos (Looking Well)
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