Aintree Friday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for day two of the Grand National Festival

The Melling Chase is one of five Aintree races being shown live on ITV and we've a tip for each.

We've listed our picks below with the reasons behind them further down the page, but you don't have to follow our advice and the Planet Sport Racing Live Centre, which houses the highly informative Aintree race card, is well worth checking out.


Aucunrisque each-way (14.20 Aintree)

Bravemansgame (14.55 Aintree)

Allmankind each-way (15.30 Aintree)

Fantastic Lady (16.05 Aintree)

Skytastic (16.40 Aintree)

14.20 Aintree - Aucunrisque each-way

Jonbon was left trailing in the home by his stablemate Constitution Hill in last month's Supreme and the full brother to Douvan is around the even money mark to get back to winning ways this afternoon.

But he finished a tired horse at Cheltenham, having taken on eventual faller Dysart Dynamo from a long way out, and it's no given he will reproduce that form here. For that reason, he's worth taking on at such short odds.

Willie Mullins' El Fabiolo missed the Cheltenham Festival and an intended engagement at the Dublin Racing Festival after sustaining a cut at home following a maiden hurdle success at Tramore on New Year's Day.

His trainer said post race that he was up there with stablemates Penhill, Saint Roi and Laurina, all of whom had won maidens at the same track, so he's very much respected.

However, Chris Gordon's Aucunrisque looks to have solid each-way claims at a double-figure price as he's improving fast and has been targeted at this race since landing a hat-trick in a Grade 2 novice at Kempton in gutsy fashion back in February.

Aucunrisque delivers Dovecote triumph for Chris Gordon

That still leaves him something to find on official ratings but he's a little more battle-hardened than some of these, jumps hurdles fluently, and his stable is in flying form, with five winners to show from just nine runners in the last fortnight.

14.55 Aintree - Bravemansgame

The massive showdown between Bravemansgame and L'Homme Presse, which should have happened in last month's Brown Advisory, is on and the pair, who have won nine races between them to stay unbeaten, make up half the field for this Grade 1 novice over 3m1f.

They're tough to split as they're both high-class, excellent jumpers who stay well, although the former horse does have freshness on his side having missed Cheltenham due to rain-softened ground.

He hasn't won a Brown Advisory, though, unlike his main rival who could not have been more impressive when beating the re-opposing Ahoy Senor, who needs to jump better to stand any chance of turning the tables, at last month's Festival.

If you must have a bet, the Nicholls runner is the suggestion.

Bravemansgame is a rising star for Paul Nicholls

15.30 Aintree - Allmankind each-way

Fakir D'Oudaries is around the 6/4 mark to make it back-to-back wins in the Grade 1 Melling Chase and he arrives here a fresh horse, having not been seen out since landing another Grade 1 at Ascot in February.

While he doesn't always impress with his jumping, he's still won five of his 16 starts over fences and is best over this trip of 2m4f, so he's very much the one they all have to beat.

We wouldn't put anyone off backing him but Dan Skelton's Allmankind is a shade of value at his current double-figure price, having made all and kept on gamely when challenged to score over this track and trip in October, despite giving weight away to all his rivals.

His trainer was quick to nominate the Melling as his principal target after that performance and he can be excused a couple of defeats since, the latest coming over hurdles.

He likes to get on with it and won't be easily passed if allowed his own way up front.

16.05 Aintree - Fantastic Lady

Willie Mullins has won the last two runnings of the 2m5f Topham run over the big fences and his best chance of a hat-trick lies with top weight Royal Rendezvous, the winner of the Galway Plate last July.

However, the ten-year-old has not been seen out since finishing a distant second behind Fakir D'Oudaries at Clonmel in November and he doesn't look particularly well treated either off a mark of 161.

Nicky Henderson, who has won this race five times, most recently in 2015, is mob-handed with four runners and his Mister Coffey heads the market currently after finding only Chambard too good in last month's Kim Muir.

However, he looks more of a staying type and stablemate Fantastic Lady is much preferred at a bigger price having taken well to fences this season, winning twice and emerging with plenty of credit following her third place finish in a Kempton Grade 2 novice won by Pic D'Orhy.

Relatively lightly-raced for a seven-year-old, she's clearly still improving and gets in here off a nice racing weight of 10st 2lb, courtesy of what could prove to be a generous handicap mark of 137, with James Bowen (riding at his minimum weight) booked.

If successful, she'd be emulating the same yard's Ma Filleule, who was the only mare in the field when landing the 2014 renewal as a six-year-old.

16.40 Aintree - Skytastic

Banbridge, who made a quick getaway from a standing start to land last month's Martin Pipe over 2m5f, heads the market for this Grade 1 novice over an extended 3m and he'll take plenty of beating if staying the longer trip.

That's far from guaranteed, though, and he faces a formidable rival in Skytastic, who arrives here unbeaten after four starts under Rules (two bumpers and two hurdles) and is the fresher horse, having skipped the Cheltenham Festival to wait for this.

The bare form of his hurdle wins at Doncaster and Ascot, where he had to battle hard to prevail by a neck under a penalty, doesn't amount to much, but the ground was softer than ideal at the Berkshire track and he would have learned a lot from that.

A laid back character who's never going to win pretty, according to his trainer, he has the scope to make an even better chaser next season, but he measures his hurdles well and will also relish today's better ground.

With his stable continuing in good form (last five runners have achieved finishing positions of 13212), he looks a good bet to maintain his unbeaten record.

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