The Aintree Bowl is a high-class Grade 1 staying chase event which often sees some of the top horses from the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup do battle once more. Recent winners such as the great Cue Card and classy Silvianaco Conti are just a couple of star names on an excellent roll of honour. This race is a proper test of ability for up and coming as well as proven chasers and has the potential to be a classic this year.
Aintree Bowl Trends
- Cheltenham runners do well – 12 of the last 15 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
- Course form matters – 8 of the last 12 winners had run at Aintree before
- Class comes to the fore – 9 of the last 12 winners were rated 160 or higher
- Certain ages dominate – 10 of the last 12 winners were between eight and ten years old
Trends – Key Runners
Might Bite ✅✅✅✅
Road To Respect ✅❌✅❌
Bristol De Mai ❌✅✅❌
Cloudy Dream ✅✅❌✅
Tea For Two ✅✅✅✅
A few of these do well in the trends department but the obvious standout is Gold Cup second Might Bite who had a couple of these in behind when winning the King George and is the most talented horse named by some way.
The Gold Cup was a real slog and how much it has taken out of Might Bite must be a concern but there is no doubting that he makes plenty of appeal on paper to record his second consecutive success at the Grand National meeting. He was brilliant in defeat at Cheltenham last time and had Road To Respect, Djakadam and Tea For Two well beaten behind him. Heavy ground does not suit him and it is likely to be a good deal firmer here than it was at the Festival which is a big positive for him as is the slightly shorter trip. He won the staying novice chase last year with Whisper back in second and has done almost nothing wrong since then, only finding the dour staying power of Native River too much.
Noel Meade’s Road To Respect was one of the big Irish hopes heading into the Gold Cup and acquitted himself nicely without ever threatening to win. His connections have been insistent throughout that he wants better ground than he got last time and there were concerns that he may not properly stay the trip at Cheltenham. This race looks made for him as he will hopefully be racing on slightly better ground with a furlong less to cope with, he is a player.
Bristol De Mai is a peculiar horse who put up a performance in the Betfair Chase that was nothing short of remarkable but has failed to reach anything close to that level since. All his best career performances have come in deep ground at Haydock so there is the possibility he is a one trick pony and it’s difficult to see him winning here considering his recent form.
Willie Mullins has sent Djakadam to this race before and he ran well to be third behind a Cue Card at the peak of his powers. He is a lovely jumper despite his tendency to belt one on his way round and though he may not be at the same class level as a Might Bite he is a horse who you can set your clock by. He will likely run to a rating somewhere in the mid 160s and that will likely be enough to sneak a place if not come out on top.
Cloudy Dream is rated just 157 and would have certainly been the stable second string had Waiting Patiently not been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury. He is a horse who likes to finish second and though he will likely travel into the race nicely it’s difficult to see him being good enough here.
Last year’s winner Tea For Two deserves consideration as that performance was easily the best of his career and he also got within three lengths of Might Bite on Boxing Day at Kempton. He is a high class horse who has saved his best for Aintree before and if running up to the level he did last year would certainly be a danger to all.