Horse Racing

6.20 Aintree Tips: Go To War can win the bumper war

With the Grand National itself coming just before, this is often a case of ‘after the lord mayor’s show’, but the final race at Aintree, which is the Weatherbys Standard Open NH Flat Race is always a nice contest. After all, we often see the emergence of a start of the future.

Grand National Aintree
Photo by Icon Sport

Don’t be fearful of a price in the bumper

Recent history tells us that we shouldn’t be scared to back one at a big price ahead of the bumper. The 2022 winner paid 28/1. In 2021, the winner wasn’t a huge price at 8/1, while the 2/1 favourite got up in 2019. However, in 2018, Portrush Ted landed the spoils at 25/1 for Warren Greatrex and Gavin Sheehan, while Lalor came home in front at 33/1 for Richard Johnson and Richard Woollacott back in 2017.

Interestingly, five of the last nine winners of this race have returned at odds of 14/1 or bigger, which is a stat that should excite each-way punters.

Trainers to look out for

There are a couple of trainers to look out for ahead of the lucky last. Alan King has had 11 previous runners in this race, one of which has won. Four of the other ten placed.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Willie Mullins has a promising record in this too. One of his eight runners has come home in front, while four of the other seven placed.

Ben Pauling has one win and one place from six runners, Jonjo O’Neill has won one and placed with two from 14, while Paul Nicholls is the most prolific trainer in here with two wins and five places from 16 runners.

Mullins runs a couple in here so it won’t be surprising if he picks up another win. Blizzard Of Oz won nicely at Cork last time out and may well take another step forward. Captain Cody is more experienced than most in here and rates as one of the likelier types having finished a respectable sixth (of 21) in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

Centara will be all the rage for Paul Nicholls having won easily on debut at Taunton last time out. He quickened away from the pack readily on that occasion and looks a nice type, as does Masaccio for Alan King. That runner placed in Listed company last time out, which is among some of the best form on offer.

At a more backable each-way price, I like Go To War. Fergal O’Brien has placed with a couple in this race before and he could now have the winner.

The five-year-old stayed on powerfully when winning on debut at Uttoxeter towards the back end of last year and may just have been kept for this. The second from that race has since gone on to win a Class 3 bumper at Chepstow, which gives the form a nice boost.

Best Bet: Go To War (each-way) @ 12/1

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