Aintree 2019: Lucky Luke's Day 2 Tips



With just over 24 hours to go until the Grand National, Lucky Luke is back in the saddle with a selection in each race on Ladies Day at Aintree. 

1:45pm – Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle

I'm kicking things off with one I really like in the opener this Friday and that is Espirit Du Large

He's twice been a winner over hurdles this season, firstly at Uttoxeter and then on his latest start at Hereford. He also finished 4th in the Grade 2 Supreme Trial at Haydock in January but was outpaced that day, and this trip looks more suited. 

Interestingly, he had an alternative entry in a Grade One on Saturday at Aintree, but connections have decided to come here where he makes his handicap debut. That could make all the difference, and with prominent tactics usually his style, he's sure to take to Aintree. 

2:20pm – Betway Top Novices Hurdle

This looks like a really competitive race, with maybe more of a top class handicap feel than that of a Grade One. 

Aramon goes in the same silks as Kemboy, who caught the eye in the Bowl, and he should be a smart runner, although I am going to side with Southfield Stone who goes for Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls. 

The 6yo was last seen when winning a Grade Two at Kempton, when beating Angels Breath, last time and was also a far from disgraced third in the Tolworth at Sandown back in January. 

He'll arrive at Aintree much fresher than all of his rivals as well and that could play quite nicely into hands, or should I say hooves. 

2:50pm – Betway Mildmay Novices Chase

For me, this is a two horse race between Topofthegame and Lostintranslation. 

The latter though is making the step up to this distance for the first time in his career on the racecourse and although he did look like he needed a little further last time, this might be slightly longer than ideal. 

I'm a huge fan of Topofthegame, so he gets my pick. A beast both on and off the racecourse, he was brilliant last time to win the RSA Chase and at this point, I'll be backing him to win the Gold Cup next season. 

I've a little niggle that Aintree might not be a match made in heaven for him, but given there is really only Lostintranslation to beat, I'm going to bank on him overcoming that.  

3:25pm – JLT Melling Chase

There's a bit of a Paul Nicholls theme going on here, but I'm going to continue that with Politologue for the Melling Chase. 

He's been good without being brilliant this season (4th in the King George) but was close to top level in the Champion Chase last time to finish just under two lengths behind Altior in second. He travelled really well that day and put Altior under plenty of pressure, enough at least, to suggest he should be on-song for this. 

The track and trip look ideal given he won this race just 12 months ago, and I think he'll take all the beating. 

4:05pm – Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase

The Topham is always a fun race to watch over the National fences and this appears to be another interesting renewal. 

Willie Mullins hasn't won this race since It's Time For A Win in 2002, but I'm backing him to end that dry spell with Cadmium

His best form has come at under 2m 2f, but he's a consistent thing and Aintree could bring out a little extra in him. He has a decent bit of form over 2m 4f from December, where he was fourth behind a trio of Delta Work, Le Richebourg and Jetz. 

The top two there have turned out to be classy individuals, so if Cadmium can grab a bit of their magic, he could come good here. 

4:40pm – Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle

Named after Sir AP McCoy, Champ will be well fancied to return to winning ways here, but I'm going to take him on with Gordon Elliott's Dallas Des Pictons. 

He 2nd to City Island earlier in the season, and finished runner-up to Early Doors in the Martin Pipe. As well as picking up two victories at Punchestown and Leopardstown in between those placed efforts, one of which came at 3 miles.  That could be of huge benefit on Friday, given Champ is yet to go beyond 2m5f.

5:15pm – Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase

It doesn't seem very often that we see Ruby Walsh riding in bumpers these days, so this one could be a tip in itself. 

Yeah, it's for his Dad, Ted, but even still he must think that Dewcup is worth a go.

The 4yo beat a subsequent Listed winner to score at Thurles last month on just his second start, and is an interesting contender for a trainer and jockey combination that famously won the Grand National at Aintree in 2000 with Papillon.