Henderson’s Charge Can Take The Topham

Day two of the Aintree Grand National meeting and probably the hardest day of the three for punters, but hopefully Irish eyes will be smiling following the opening race.

Noel Has Got Soul
Despite winning one of the most renowned handicap hurdles in Ireland last time and doing so in good style, Ice Cold Soul didn’t make the cut for the Coral Cup or County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival so will look for some compensation here and may well be able to find some.

Free Fall

The runner-up from Leopardstown hasn’t run since, Golden Spear was third and obviously wasn’t right when lining up at Kempton and both the fourth and fifth placed horses have won since.

The form has worked out reasonably well and Ice Cold Soul looks like he is set to fulfil his potential.

Since returning from a leg injury, Ice Cold Soul has only ran twice, the first of which saw him prove to be a bit unlucky at Leopardstown over Christmas and he could still be favourably treated for Noel Meade and Gigginstown.

Into The West for the Bumper
Western Ryder wasn’t beaten all that far in the Champion Bumper by Fayonagh and despite having Claimantakingforgan finishing narrowly in front of him that day, he is picked to reverse that form.

It’s an open race with no Irish representation and as we have seen on the first day at Aintree, there have been some funny results. But even Claimantakingforgan’s rider Nico de Boinville has been wondering about how his mount will respond from two tough races and with more experience on his side,

Western Ryder is picked on a track that should suit him better than Cheltenham.

Hoping For Top Effort
I will be cheering on the Philip Dempsey-trained Mr Diablo in the Topham Chase as I ride out for Philip each morning and travelled over with the horse on Wednesday.

It’s a case of being hopeful more than confident with any runner over the National fences as luck plays such a huge part in it, but he’s a horse that has given his owner some good days and hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself with Luke doing the steering.

A horse like O O Seven is what I’d see as a big danger. He has campaigned in some real good company this season and while falling short of that level, this drop in class could bring about a good chance of him returning to winning ways and at 20/1 he represents an each-way prospect for the in-form Nicky Henderson.

Recommended Bets:
Ice Cold Soul (10/1) – 1.40 Aintree
O O Seven EW (16/1) – 4.05 Aintree
Western Ryder (11/2) – 5.15 Aintree


*Prices correct at time of publication.