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Thursday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Aintree on April 11

Day one of the Grand National Festival at Aintree and the Planet Sport tipsters are on the hunt for some winners from the five races on offer as part of ITV's coverage this Thursday, April 11.

Three big Grade 1 races -  the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (1420), Aintree Bowl (1455) and the Aintree Hurdle (1530) -  are the televised highlights of the first day of action at Aintree.

The good people at ITV have also thrown in two more contests to give us a cracking afternoon of jumps racing.

Though they've swerved the opening Grade 1 Manifesto Novices' Chase, because Loose Women is probably more important. Luckily we have you covered for tips on that contest if it tickles your fancy.

So let's start off with a quick run through our tips, with the reasons why we've picked them further down the page. There's a full list of selections for all seven races at the bottom of the page for all 

If you fancy a punt or two, check out the Planet Sport race centre which will show you all the live odds, racecards and results.

Finally, if you want to hear about Planet Sport ambassador Harry's Cobden's AIntree rides on Thursday why not visit his blog and watch his video.

Good luck and please gamble responsibly.

(Please be aware selections could become non-runners after article's first publication)


Thursday's selections:

14:20 (Aintree) Sir Gino

14:55 (Aintree) Shishkin

15:30 (Aintree) Langer Dan

16:05 (Aintree) Spyglass Hill

16:40 (Aintree) Unexpected Party


14:20 (Aintree) Sir Gino

One who Nicky Henderson will be desperate to win is Sir Gino, who runs in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle.

He was a red-hot favourite for the Triumph Hurdle last month but was one Henderson felt he just could not risk. Prior to the meeting, however, he had looked a potential superstar.

Sir Gino should get the better of Kargese who holds solid form claims having only found Majborough too good in the Triumph Hurdle last time out.

Kalif Du Berlais had to give weight away when winning the G2 Adonis Juvenile Novices Hurdle at Kempton in February, and could provide a good account as he bids to remain unbeaten.


14:55 (Aintree) Shishkin


The Grand National meeting kicks off on Thursday with a mouthwatering battle between Shishkin and Gold Cup runner-up Gerri Colombe in the Aintree Bowl.

Shishkin gets the nod to defend the crown he claimed 12 months ago when the Nicky Henderson-trained star edged Ahoy Senor by one and a half lengths, but he will come up against stiff opposition in the seven-runner field over an extended three miles.

Henderson endured a difficult time at Cheltenham last month when an apparent virus hit the Seven Barrows stables on the eve of the meeting, which resulted in Shishkin being declared a non-runner for the blue riband at Prestbury Park.

However, he will be fresh to face Gordon Elliott’s charge when Gerri Colombe bids to claim his second win on Merseyside following last year’s Grade One victory in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.


15:30 (Aintree) Langer Dan

Langer Dan, winner of the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, returns to action in the William Hill Aintree Hurdle and arrives on the back of a career-best effort..

Dan Skelton’s eight-year-old will be looking for a quickfire double at a track where he has won over course and distance, albeit in a handicap hurdle in 2022, so this represents a stiff rise in grade to the highest level.

Luccia was one of the few Nicky Henderson horses to perform with credit in Gloucestershire last month and is aiming to improve on her third-placed finish in the Champion Hurdle as one of seven challengers to Langer Dan but a chance is taken on the Skelton runner.


16:05 (Aintree) Spyglass Hill

Spyglass Hill remains very much unexposed in this sphere having made a successful Hunters Chase debut at Haydock, so is worth considering in the Foxhunters' Open Hunters' Chase.

Its On The Line went down fighting in the St. James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Maintains claims dropping back in distance.

Third home that day Time Leader is consistent in contests of this nature and must enter calculations.

Annamix won a Hunters Chase event impressively at Gowran Park last-time-out and could be in the mix.


16:40 (Aintree) Unexpected Party

Dropping back to this trip worked out for Unexpected Party in the Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The nine-year-old is trained by Dan Skelton and might well come out on top again in the Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase.

Path D'Oroux is a Gavin Cromwell runner yet to win in eight outings over fences. Holds some solid placed form and could be suited by the testing conditions.

Saint Roi did well finishing sixth in the noted event and cannot be discounted though heavy ground might not prove ideal.

Maintaining a progressive record of three from four with fences last-time-out Class 2 Doncaster winner Homme Public also needs to be included on the shortlist.


Aintree selections in full:

AINTREE: 1.45 Grey Dawning, 2.20 Sir Gino, 2.55 Shishkin, 3.30 Langer Dan, 4.05 Spyglass Hill, 4.40 Unexpected Party, 5.15 Baby Kate.


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