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LIVERPOOL HURDLE GRADE 1 – REVIEW

If The Cap Fits

6th April 2019 – Aintree – This is a very tricky race to weigh up. The runner up is best on softer ground and the only other times the third horse home has competed over this trip she narrowly beat a horse in Supasundae that arguably does not stay three miles and also beat a few horses rated well below her at Leopardstown in late December. As for the winner he was about two seconds faster than Aux Ptits Soins with a circuit to go and then increased that margin to around five seconds at the first in the home straight final time around. This ‘lead’ was reduced to closer to three seconds by the winning line. This comparison is of some interest given that the Skelton handicapper has proved conclusively that he is not up to this level.

How much this form is worth depends on how strongly we believe Apple’s Jade stays this distance and how inconvenienced Roksana was by the drying ground. I am not sure on either point; however I would still prefer to remember my pre-race thoughts that the drier ground did significantly increase the chances for If The Cap Fits. Given his previous record and earlier trainer comments it is also possible that he will be best on a flat track and/or more importantly possibly thought by his trainer to be best on a flat track; which is something to bear in mind when considering his ante-post price for the Stayers hurdle.

Roksana

6th April 2019 – Aintree – Whilst she has clearly acted on the drying ground I think her chances would have been much more obvious on the testing ground that Thursday’s runners competed on. Partly because of how many doubtful stayers there would have been on a softer surface; including the winner.

Apple’s Jade

6th April 2019 – Aintree – One or two pundits immediately decided she had not run to her best and, whilst this is certainly one possibility; equally likely she failed to quite last home or is simply as good as she appeared to be here when competing over three miles.

William Henry

6th April 2019 – Aintree – This was his first try at this trip and, whilst he may have just about stayed this distance; at the same time one would not be in a hurry to support him against the better class three mile stayers.

Lord Napier

6th April 2019 – Aintree – He stayed on past many beaten rivals and maybe flattered by his fifth place finish. He is a bit betwixt and between given his mark as he is probably not quite up to this level and also quite high in the handicap.

Sam Spinner

6th April 2019 – Aintree – He was under pressure all the way down the far side to keep tabs on the leader. He was responding to pressure, however, but lost all chance when joining the leader on her outside before being badly hampered whilst jumping the third last hurdle. The mare had been jumping right most of the way so this has to go down as jockey error.

West Approach

6th April 2019 – Aintree – He has had a long tough season and has run well in defeat in most of his races. He is simply not a winner and is also yet to get off the mark over this distance in many many attempts.

The Worlds End

6th April 2019 – Aintree – He dropped out a long way from home and never looked dangerous in the home straight. The drying ground should have been in his favour and this is not the first time that he has flopped badly. He is a bit of a rogue and not one to trust; especially when trading short.

Wholestone

6th April 2019 – Aintree – Maybe he has had enough for the season.

Kilbricken Storm

6th April 2019 – Aintree – He just has not fired this season for whatever reason. I imagine his connections will be ruing his narrow success at Ffos Las over fences as otherwise he would have remained a novice chaser for next season.

Unowhatimeanharry

6th April 2019 – Aintree – I assume this will be the last we will see of this ex-champion at this level.

Agrapart

6th April 2019 – Aintree – His performance would add to the suspicions that Lord Napier and West Approach have simply stayed on past tired rivals. He was well beaten a long way from home before plodding past a few in the home straight to finish a flattering seventh. Nonetheless he remains a very interesting horse for the future; not least because the only time he has had his soft ground this season was when his jockey elected to take the massively unfavoured inside route at Ascot in late December. He is a very good horse on testing ground and is now on a winnable mark of 150 given his optimum conditions.

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