Betfair's Each Way Edge has revolutionised horse racing betting allowing our customers to add a place to increase the chances of winning or take away a place to boost potential winnings. Here are four horses to play using Edge on the opening day of the Grand National Festival...
"Romain De Senam was second in the 2016 Fred Winter from mark of 136, so he is seriously well-handicapped from 134 over fences for this. He has disappointed in his previous two runs, but there's enough in a defeat behind Top Notch at Plumpton (when he needed the run), and a canter round Leicester earlier in the season to suggest he might go well. His jumping at Leicester was very good."
14:50 - Aintree Betway Bowl
The likeliest winner in my mind here is Empire Of Dirt, as discussed in my antepost preview last month. He hasn't been missed in the market now, but back over a suitable trip, he is the big danger to favourite Cue Card. Those two dominate the top places in the betting.
However, looking at a runner at a bigger price (which after all is the purpose of this column), Silviniaco Conti stands out using the Each Way Edge. Two places are standard in the race, but using the Edge, three and four places come into play. Play him with three places
As a dual winner of this race back in 2014 and 2015, the better ground and flat track really play to his strengths. He stays very well too which could be key here, as Smad Place can go from the front, but so can 'Conti', who made it a proper test when landing this two years ago. And this race is usually a real examination of stamina.
Obviously on ratings he isn't the horse of old, as during his pomp he was operating at 174, these days he is now down to 158.
This season hasn't been a total washout though. His comeback run for the campaign in the Grade 1 at Down Royal was a perfectly decent start to the year. He wasn't quite right to make the Betfair Ascot Chase in February two months ago, but that is no bad thing as he arrives as a fresh horse.
He has been off since the Cotswold Chase - a race in which he wore a tongue-tie with the blinkers - and those are retained for Thursday.
Silviniaco Conti appeals more than doubtful stayer Aso, whilst Tony Calvin's selection Bristol De Mai is a tough six-year-old, but he might want softer ground.
15:25 - Aintree Hurdle
This doesn't look a race with any depth, and hot-favourite Buveur D'Air takes a monumental chunk out of the market at very long odds-on here after his four-and-a-half length win in the Champion Hurdle. That wasn't a strong renewal, and My Tent Or Yours and The New One will have another crack here over a trip that will certainly suit, particularly the latter named as a previous winner of the race.
The price of Identity Thief compensates for a risky bet judged on his erratic slump in form this season over fences. But back over hurdles today, he could shake up his rivals, and I would look to use the three places with the Each Way Edge - especially considering how big in price he was drifting to late on Wednesday night.
His fencing career this term promised so much. He was brilliant on chase debut at Punchestown in October, and he followed up with a Grade 2 success. However, the wheels have fallen off in spectacular fashion, and his jumping and confidence has gone to pieces.
Switching to 2m4f over hurdles on better ground could be a canny ploy from his trainer Henry De Bromhead, and the horse has a Grade 1 victory over hurdles thanks to his Fighting Fifth win.
I have a feeling this trip could suit, as they went too quick for him in the 2016 Champion Hurdle - and he wouldn't have the speed to lay up with the pace of a 2m hurdle contest nowadays, this looks more his thing.
16:05 - Foxhunters' Chase
Pacha Du Polder did me a favour for the antepost preview by landing the Cheltenham Foxhunters at an advised 16/1 each way. I'd still fancy him to beat On The Fringe again at a bigger price, and he was 7/2 on the Sportsbook earlier in the week. Even reducing to two places on Each Way Edge appeals for him as he is such a grand jumper.
But the price on Bear's Affair will do for me. He's always threatened to be a decent horse in his career, as his peak rating of over 150 would say that he was, and has been. He is 18/1 to win (from 22/1 last night), and The Edge here goes up to five places.
On leaving Nicky Henderson in January, he's enjoyed two runs for new trainer Philip Rowley, and there were excuses for both. His 2m4f run at Ludlow in soft ground was the wrong trip and wrong going three months ago, while his defeat behind Wonderful Charm at Haydock saw him trying to mix it up with the pace - and he paid for that.
He has won two handicaps (the same race) at Aintree on the Mildmay Course in the past, and he's a decent jumper that needs better ground. The 11-year-old is worth a bit of a speculative play as he's honest and jumps. Perfect material for using the Each Way Edge, widening out to include five places.
16:40 - Red Rum Handicap
Paul Nicholls had three entered on Tuesday and held a potentially decent hand, Sam Twiston-Davies was jocked-up on Romain De Senam - a horse who has got a decent handicap pot in him.
He was second in the 2016 Fred Winter from mark of 136, so he is seriously well-handicapped from 134 over fences for this. He has disappointed in his previous two runs, but there's enough in a defeat behind Top Notch at Plumpton (when he needed the run), and a canter round Leicester earlier in the season to suggest he might go well. His jumping at Leicester was very good.
Always a bit of a keen horse in the past, big fields (as shown in the Cheltenham juvenile) will suit him better. I fancy him to run a big race and am looking to take bigger odds of 16/1 by going down to two places using the Each Way Edge.
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