Grand National Tips

Aintree Day Two Tips: Mark Milligan fancies last year's winner to go in again in Melling Chase

Aintree
Mark Milligan has two selecions at Aintree on Friday

Mark Milligan is back with his Big Race Preview of Friday's Melling Chase, while he also has a NAP in an earlier race...


Rachael Blackmore Superboost

Day one of Aintree saw Betfair's Superboost land as Rachael Blackmore and Bob Olinger finished in the top two on Thursday, and today we are boosting her once again onboard Envoi Allen!

You can back Rachael and Envoi Allen for a Top Three finish in the 15:30 today at Aintree at the Superboost price of 6/42.50! (was 4/51.80).

Back Envoi Allen to finish in the Top Three in the 15:30 at Aintree @ 6/42.50

Bet here

15:30 - Melling Chase: Back Pic D'orhy @ 3/14.00

Aintree's Day 2 highlight is a cracking renewal of the 2m 4f Grade 1 Melling Chase (15:30), and it's a race that features the first three from Cheltenham's Ryanair Chase, along with last year's victor Pic D'Orhy, while it also has an added layer of intrigue with Jonbon stepping up from 2m for the first time.

Let's start with Jonbon, who probably has the best overall form in the race, but he's a horse who very much lives on his nerves and comes with plenty of risks attached.

He'd looked better than ever when winning the Shloer Chase on his seasonal reappearance coming home nearly 10 lengths clear of Edwardstone and didn't need to match that form when beating the same rival at Sandown in the Tingle Creek on his next start.

However, he rather fluffed his lines back at Cheltenham when last seen in the rescheduled Clarence House Chase, making a shuddering error four out and doing well to recover to finish second in the end.

That jumping will be put to the test again around this sharper track and, with doubts still surrounding the wellbeing of the Henderson string (this was written before Thursday's Aintree action), I can pass on him as favourite.

Last season's Betfair Chase winner Protekorat had run several good races this term before being dropped in trip for the Ryanair last time, where he appeared to relish the intermediate trip and came home four lengths ahead of Envoi Allen.

Dan Skelton's charge tracked a brisk pace there before moving up to press Stage Star entering the straight and then produced a more fluent leap than the runner-up at the last to move on and draw clear.

If none the worse for those exertions, it's difficult to see how Envoi Allen can reverse form with Protektorat, while Conflated who was back in third faces an even bigger task.

While the big players from the Ryanair are sure to be involved in the finish once again, I'm taking last year's winner of this contest Pic D'Orhy to repeat the dose.

He's lightly raced this season and will come into this fresher than those that raced at Cheltenham, while we know conditions are no issue, as he proved when slamming the excellent Fakir D'Oudairies in this last season.

Paul Nicholls' nine-year-old has had a very similar preparation this time around and, for all the Irish have dominated jumps racing at the highest level in recent years, his trainer remains with few peers when it comes to targeting one at a big race.

A highly consistent sort who rarely finishes out of the first two places, I'm hoping that Pic D'Orhy's relative freshness will see him land this race for the second successive year.

Back Pic D'Orhy in 15:30 Aintree @ 3/14.00

Bet here

13:45 - Mildmay Novices' Chase: Back Iknowthewayurthinkin @ 9/43.25

I'm heading to the opening 3m 1f Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase (13:45) for my other bet on the card, where Iknowthewayurthinkin merits NAP status.

Gavin Cromwell's six-year-old has been a highly progressive chaser this season and was backed as if defeat was out of the question when hosing up in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham off what was clearly a very lenient mark of 145.

He'd already finished third in Grade 1 company behind Gaelic Warrior at Limerick over Christmas, so it's not as though he doesn't fit at this level, and he looked much better than a handicapper during that Festival demolition job.

There are a couple in the field that have the potential to give him a race, most notably the same owner's Iroko and Henry de Bromhead's Heart Wood.

The former wasn't disgraced when fifth in the Turners at Cheltenham, while the latter comes here fresh having landed a competitive Grade 3 handicap at Leopardstown off 136 in February.

For me, though, neither has the Grade 1 potential of Iknowthewayurthinkin and I'll have a long face if he gets beat.

Back Iknowthewayurthinkin 13:45 Aintree @ 9/43.25

Bet here

Listen to Racing...Only Bettor Aintree Day 2 special


Now Read: Mark Milligan's Three to Follow in the Grand National


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