Watch for a surge from Lake Kariba

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Since most punters' pockets and livers have still not recovered from Cheltenham, it should not be the greatest of surprises if the same is true of the horses. None the less, several runners will be sent off at short odds over the next three days to reproduce their Festival form, and only when one of them runs poorly will its backers kick themselves for ignoring the maxim about not relying on Cheltenham form at Aintree.

Since most punters' pockets and livers have still not recovered from Cheltenham, it should not be the greatest of surprises if the same is true of the horses. None the less, several runners will be sent off at short odds over the next three days to reproduce their Festival form, and only when one of them runs poorly will its backers kick themselves for ignoring the maxim about not relying on Cheltenham form at Aintree.

It is hard enough to bring a horse to a peak once in a year, without trying to do so twice in the space of a month. The problem for punters in several of today's races at Liverpool, though, is that if you ignore the runners which appeared in the Cotswolds last month, there will be nothing left to bet on.

The only approach is to treat favourites with caution rather than respect, particularly when, as is the case with See More Business in today's Martell Cup, their last run was a thorough disappointment. At no point in the Gold Cup did See More Business seem likely to repeat his success in the race in 1999, far less his commanding victory in the King George at Kempton. What's more, since the fast going was cited as an excuse for his defeat, there is little to recommend him at cramped odds today.

A better bet is LAKE KARIBA (nap 2.35), who was just a neck behind See More Business at Cheltenham, having started as the 150-1 outsider of the field. Venetia Williams has discovered reserves of talent and stamina in a horse once regarded as strictly a two-miler, and if she can find a little more improvement, he will go close.

Norman Williamson, who rode Lake Kariba at Cheltenham, has opted to partner Mely Moss in the National, and Charlie Egerton's runner is now as short as 20-1 having been a 50-1 chance on Tuesday.

Williams has a good chance of starting the meeting with a double, since Bellator must go well in the novice chase, but the value lies with Frozen Groom (3.10). Noel Meade's runner had still to be headed in the Arkle Trophy when crumpling on landing three out, and would have given the field a race.

Fable (4.20), another from Meade's yard, could go well at decent odds in the juvenile hurdle, since the track and trip should suit. In the Fox Hunters', Struggles Glory (3.45) is no more than a hopeful choice.

Comments