Aintree 2-00
Big Buck’s 5/4 4/5
Duc de Regniere 6 11
Hills of Aran 7 18
Mighty Man 9 5

Aintree 4-20
Oh Crick 8 6
Leslingtaylor 10 15/2
Bambi de l’Orme 12 11
Moon Over Miami 12 10
Enlightenment 16 22
Pasco 18 14
Poquelin 20 8
I’m So Lucky 20 20
Lorient Express 20 25
Kilmackilloge 22 14
Lord Henry 22 20
Locksmith 24 40
Tramantano 25 12
Valain 30 16
Vinmix de Bessy 30 11
Marodima 33 40
Lord Jay Jay 33 50

In the words of the woman in the newsagent this morning, “Here we go again!” – she managed to pick more winners than me at Cheltenham and has even been there so I should listen.

Certainly the second race today, the 4-20 at Aintree, is a horrendous lottery and I am wary of ruling anything out, hence no ‘cutoff’ line. Pride prevents me from referring to Pricewise or any other tipping service though it’s tempting here: Valain and Vinmix de Bessy get PW’s vote and I’m So Lucky is the RP’s Spotlight tip, on the grounds that the course will suit. Venetia Williams won this last year but her stable is currently out of form. What to do? I will think some more, maybe a punt on Ms Williams’s Lord Jay Jay with the excuse that it is somehow a ‘contrarian’ approach (as opposed to a desperate gamble.) Clearly there is a difference odds-wise between the bookies and myself for several of these, but others are reassuringly in line.

Earlier, Hills of Aran is a bet in the 2-00. That is a high grade, non-handicap with Big Buck’s the odds-on favourite. Mighty Man has a chance to overturn him though but not a bet at the offered price.

Pre-race: I succomed to the 33/1 about Lord Jay Jay in the end – I like the 10 day fitness angle after a decent run last time and the obvious trainer intention. The RP’s comment, that V Williams has a habit of winning these big handicaps with outsiders, helps and it does have a decent Topspeed rating. It’s not strictly value (50/1 for a 33/1 shot) but this is a race to take a swing at. My other temptation is Moon Over Miami on pace grounds – you apparently need to be up close on the Mildmay course and Moon will be able to profit as the front runners fade away. Whatever, the proof of the pudding is now in the lap of the gods.

Post-race: More musing on the result tomorrow, no doubt. For now, suffice to say that 2nd by 1 length at 40/1 was not a bad bit of punting. My favourite came first so, once again, seems these exotics have to be looked at more carefully (£411.60 worth of careful, to be precise….)

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