National Hunt Action - Horse Racing Weekend Review
The victory of Little Polvier in the 1989 Grand National provided jockey Jimmy Frost with his career highlight and 29 years later the possibility exists that his daughter Bryony could repeat the feat, becoming the first woman to win the world’s most famous steeplechase in the process, should the 5lb claimer retain the ride on the Paul Nicholls-trained Present Man in the Aintree marathon next April.
The combination provided one of the early season highlights when they jumped their rivals silly to record a courageous victory in Wincanton’s competitive Badger Ales Trophy, leading his Ditcheat handler to declare: “ There’s only one race for him now and that is at Aintree next April – I think a race like that will suit as he jumps so well and that’s his longer-term target.” Whether 22-year-old Frost retains the ride in five month’s time is debatable but the 40-1 offered by bookmaker William Hill could prove excellent value for the great race and should the pair jump the big National fences as well as those at Wincanton history may well be made in 2018.
Stayers’ Hurdle third Unowhatimeanharry got his season off to a winning start at Aintree, proving too strong in the closing stages for his two rivals – Value At Risk and Top Notch – and the mount of Barry Geraghty looks sure to prove a force to be reckoned with at next year’s festival for which the son of Sir Harry Lewis can be backed at a standout 7-1 with BetBright to gain revenge over current Stayers’ champion Nichols Canyon (6-1 generally ).
At Naas on Sunday Apple’s Jade had little trouble in seeing off main rival Jer’s Girl in the Lismullen Hurdle and is a 3-1 chance with Skybet and William Hill to record a second Mares’ Hurdle success next March.
The enigmatic leading novice chaser of last season – Might Bite – faced three rivals on his seasonal reappearance in the 188Bet Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown and outclassed the opposition with a near-flawless round of jumping under Nico de Boinville coming home a clear cut winner from Frodon and Label Des Obeaux.
Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old will face stiffer opposition at Kempton on Boxing Day where the son of Scorpion is a top price 7-2 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook for the King George V1 Chase.