Grand National Tips

Aintree Festival: Rhys Williams has six eyecatchers from last week's action

Aintree Racecourse
Our racing expert has six horses to note from the Aintree Festival

Our resident tipster Rhys Williams has analysed the Aintree Grand National Festival and has highlighted six horses that caught the eye...

Cap Du Mathan

The good pace in the Foxhunters meant that not many horses still had a chance turning into the home straight. One of those was Cap Du Mathan, who had moved into a prominent position early on and was going well in a share of third as they turned in. However, he began to fade after jumping two out and dropped away late on to finish eighth.

Going that pace over that distance in testing conditions stretched his stamina and he might be one for the two mile hunter chase at Stratford at the end of May.


It was very beneficial to race handily in the closing mares bumper on Thursday.

One of the very few to make any sort of challenge from a little further back was Speculatrix, who was returning from a 414-day break. She raced wide in midfield before making headway early in the home straight and was still travelling well going through the wings of two out. She was in a very close fourth going through the wings of the last but greenness and perhaps the lack of a recent run then told and she finished sixth.

Speculatrix looks a longer term prospect than some of those who finished ahead of her and hopefully she can progress over hurdles next season.

Might I

Might I's jumping let him down badly in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. While he did make some small mistakes, that aspect of his performance was better on this occasion but he clearly lacked the speed for this contest. He was at the back of the field and raced wide from the off and still had a lot of horses in front of him turning into the home straight before staying on well to finish sixth.

He clearly looks in need of a step up to three miles on this evidence and he can be more competitive in handicaps of this quality over that trip.


Lookaway disappointed in the Betfair Hurdle but he ran much better back in Grade 1 company with cheekpieces on for the first time.

He made the running at a good pace and really pressed on after jumping the first in the back straight to gain a break on the rest of the field. He was closed down again on the very long run to three out but he was still in a share of the lead jumping two out. He was headed on landing but kept battling away to finish third.

This was more much like it from Lookaway and more in line with the quality of his performances earlier in the season. I expect he will be switched to chasing next season and possibly stepped back up in trip having run well in the Challow over further.


Go Dante was the obvious eyecatcher from the closing handicap hurdle on Friday's card but he won't be missed by the market next time so I've gone in a different direction.

Ballee wasn't too quick away from the standing start but he soon pulled his way into a prominent position on the outside. He continued to race keenly and was allowed to stride on in front jumping the first down the back straight. He made mistakes at four and three out and was headed but kept responding to pressure and rallied to finish second.

He looks a chasing type and he could prove tough to catch in two mile novice chases around sharp tracks next season.

No Questions Asked

No Questions Asked had returned from a 688-day absence to win on rules debut at Market Rasen and he was stepped up to Graded company for the bumper on Saturday. Held up in last, he raced keenly from the off. He was still pulling when switched wide in the back straight and he made sustained headway to be tracking the front pair going through the wings of two out. Shaken along soon after, the early exuberance took its toll in the closing stages but he kept going well enough to finish sixth.

The manner in which he made headway on the outside was taking and he should become a good novice hurdler next season, where I expect they might ride him handier.

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