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Grand National Festival

Liverpool Hurdle Trends

Barry Geraghty on board Buveur D'air wins the Betway Aintree Hurdle during day one of the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse.
Tuesday April 10th 2018 - 16:52

The Aintree equivalent of the Stayers Hurdle, the Saturday contest is always a top notch Grade 1 affair. A division that is lacking a star of the calibre of Big Buck’s who dominated this race from 2009-2012, there is an open spot at the top table for the winner of this contest. Our Liverpool Hurdle Tips are here!

Liverpool Hurdle Trends

  • Shorties dominate – The last fourteen winners have all been 11/2 or shorter.
  • Age matters – Ten winners have been six or seven-year-olds from the last fourteen. Two of the four who buck the trend were Big Buck’s.
  • Stayers is the key – Ten of the last fourteen victors were at least placed in the Stayers Hurdle.
  • Course knowledge – Twelve winners from the last fourteen editions have already finished at least second at Aintree.
  • Luck of the Irish – Just a single winner for an Irish raider in the last three decades!

Trends – Key Runners

Sam Spinner          ✅✅❌❌✅

Wholestone            ✅✅✅❌✅

The Worlds End    ✅✅❌✅✅

Identity Thief         ❌❌❌❌❌

Lil Rockerfeller     ❌✅❌❌✅

No horse is a perfect fit on the trends but the pair that stand out are Wholestone and The Worlds End. The former has the honour of being the only horse to arrive here having been placed in the Stayers Hurdle last time out. Given that the Cheltenham Festival contest is such a huge form guide to the race, that has to be a sizeable plus for his chances. He is yet to race at Aintree but the easier test at three miles should be right up his street.

The Worlds End won the novice hurdle over three miles at this Festival last season. He is the only recipient of a tick in that box, a huge boost to his chances. It’s hard to know how he would’ve fared in the Albert Bartlett against Penhill last season if he hadn’t come down two out, but his run in the Stayers this season on ground that will have been plenty soft enough for him suggests that he arrives at Aintree with a big chance of making it 2/2 at the track.

If given the race to do over again, Joe Colliver would surely have set stronger fractions on the front end in the Stayers Hurdle on Sam Spinner. A resolute galloper, the race was eleven seconds slower than the 139 rated Delta Work was when winning the Pertemps. That handicap is always run at a furious clip so like for like comparison even over the same course and distance needs to be taken with a slight pinch of salt, but clearly having been tapped for toe late on, Sam Spinner needs to set stronger fractions here.

Fourth in the Champion Hurdle and now stepping up in trip, Identity Thief would appreciate his 10/1 current price to halve to at least give him one tick on the trends instead of a row of crosses. He looks like being the sole Irish representative in the race, a contest that raiders have not fared well in. He won over two and a half miles as a novice and if he’s to stay three miles, it will surely be on a track such as this. On the trends, however, he makes absolutely no appeal in this contest.

It’s been an up and down season for the normally consistent Lil Rockerfeller. Placed in the Stayers Hurdle in 2017, he has not come close to matching that level of form this season despite a Grade 2 win at Ascot. He is actually yet to win beyond that 2m3f trip at Ascot, missing this meeting last season to head to Punchestown instead. This looks a weak renewal of this contest so if ever he is to get that three mile win, this might be the time, but he has a bit to prove on the form of this season.

Just days away from the Grand National meeting where we’ll have selections for every single race, our Grand National Tips will be going live on Wednesday morning.

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