Road To Respect To Bowl Them Over In The Aintree Bowl
Is 20 days after the most gruelling race at the Cheltenham Festival long enough to recover ahead of another testing Grade 1?
That is the question posed to punters at Aintree on Thursday for the Aintree Bowl.
Bristol De Mai, Clan Des Obeaux and Elegant Escape finished third, fifth and sixth in the Gold Cup behind Al Boum Photo respectively while Kemboy lined up in the same race but didn’t negotiate his way past the first fence.
With Aintree coming a little earlier this year this is a test that is going to really serve it up to the Gold Cup runners and the other two runners in the race are the Gigginstown pair of Balko Des Flos and Road To Respect who ran in the Ryanair Chase the previous day of the Cheltenham Festival.
This is a landmine race for punters really as so much comes down to how much it has taken out of horses.
Bristol De Mai is going to be popular given he finished the best in the Gold Cup, while others might side with Kemboy as he should be the freshest of the field given he didn’t have a race at Cheltenham.
Aintree is a speedier track that could suit Kemboy even better and ruby Walsh takes over on him for the first time since he made his Irish debut in December 2016.
All that said, Road To Respect is the one that is given the nod here for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan.
The eight-year-old ran well in the Ryanair without posting a career best but the step up in trip around Aintree with a small ease in the ground could just play to his strengths and you’d have to think that he didn’t have as hard a race as the Gold Cup runners which could be a big plus.
Bristol De Mai sets the standard but he most certainly ran beyond expectations of many in Cheltenham and it’s hard to see him winning here in such a competitive renewal.
Road To Respect has been fairly rock solid all season, winning at Down Royal, before finishing third in a messy race at Christmas and then posting a good effort to just go down to Bellshill at the Dublin Racing Festival.
If Frodon was in here he’d be fairly short and…
Road To Respect might just have the form to cause a mini upset.
Road To Respect (5/1)- 2.50 Aintree Bowl
*Prices correct at time of publication.