Harry Allwood kept a close eye on the action over the three days at Aintree and selects five horses to add to your Racing TV tracker.
The 2019 Randox Health Grand National meeting at Aintree did not disappoint and there were some brilliant equine performances over the three days, the highlight being Tiger Roll’s second Randox Health Grand National victory.
To win back-to-back Grand National’s is an incredible achievement, let alone win four times at the Cheltenham Festival and I am hoping Tiger Roll returns to the Liverpool venue next year to bid for a third victory in the world’s greatest race, although Michael O’Leary seems adamant that will not happen.
Lostintranslation impressed when winning the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase in good style on Friday. He clearly improved for the step up to three miles and produced a career best. The King George will be his main aim next season and he is likely to take high rank in the staying chase division.
As ever, it often pays to look beyond the victors and here are five who caught the eye in defeat.
Dan Skelton’s youngster ran another promising race when staying on to finish midfield in this mares' bumper. She shaped as though a step up in trip is certain to suit and is sure to have improved for the experience.
Julian Howl, joint-owner of Emmas Joy, said afterwards: “That was a promising run from Emmas Joy who we think a lot of. She will step up in distance next season when she goes novice hurdling and is a work in progress. She also has a fantastic attitude which is a huge plus.”
The mare had run below par on her previous start at Warwick but had shown a good level of form when just denied in a Listed bumper at Huntingdon in December.
A winner of a three-mile point-to-point, she will be an exciting prospect over 2m4f plus next season.
Knight In Dubai was given plenty to do when finishing a never-nearer fifth behind ex-stablemate Three Musketeers in this competitive handicap. He was also hampered up the home straight which did not help his cause and almost snatched fourth.
The six-year-old ran well for a long way in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on his previous start but connections believed he played his hand too soon.
More patient tactics were employed in this 2m4f contest which seemed to suit as the gelding fared better and would have finished closer had he timed his challenge sooner.
Further progress is expected next season as he doesn’t have many miles on the clock and can remain competitive in similar handicap hurdles unless connections decide to send him back over the larger obstacles.
Having failed to land a blow in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival, Aramon bounced back to form when just denied by Felix Desjy on Friday.
Despite this good effort, I still don’t think Aramon was seen to best effect in the conditions. Ruby Walsh said on Racing TV beforehand that he believes soft ground blunts Aramon’s speed which was probably the reason why he ran below bar at Cheltenham.
Aramon was an impressive winner of a Grade One at Leopardstown in December on good ground and finished a head behind Supreme winner Klassical Dream at the same track in February which, again, was on firmer going.
He has had a busy season, but it would be no surprise if Willie Mullins decided to run his six-year-old in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on April 30 should the conditions be ideal.
An absence of over a year did not stop Thebannerkingrebel from finishing a length behind the smart McFabulous in the valuable bumper on Friday.
This was also the six-year-old’s first start after a wind op and was a hugely promising run considering the circumstances.
Connections must hold Thebannerkingrebel in high regard as he was well backed when making a winning debut last year and also ran in the Champion Bumper, although something was clearly amiss in that race as he was pulled up inside the final furlong.
He is one to keep an eye on over hurdles next season and can make up for lost time.
One For Rosie has progressed nicely this season and ran another promising race to dead-heat for third with Angels Breath on his first start in Grade One company.
A steady gallop would not have helped his cause either and he looks a stayer in the making.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey is far from the finished article and was just touched off in a competitive Grade Three Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Sandown on his previous start.
Further progress is highly likely from him next season, especially over staying trips.
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