The Aintree betting tips for December 8 on Horsebetting.com say Definitly Red is the NAP of this seven-race meeting in the 3m 1f Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase. Chica Buena brings some good form into the extended 2m Listed fillies’ juvenile hurdle, so rates our next best bet. Dubai Angel, meanwhile, looks an each-way bet in the 2m 4f Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle. Read all about the supporting races on Becher Chase day in our detailed Aintree betting tips for December 8.Definitly Red poised to defend Many Clouds crownDefinitly Red has won his last three Grade 2 assignments, including the Many Clouds Chase 12 months ago, so looks well worth a wager to defend his crown in this year’s renewal of the 3m 1f contest at Aintree on Saturday (14:05). Trained by Brian Ellison, the nine-year-old has landed just less than half of his 16 career starts over fences and goes particularly well at this level.
The son of Definite Article won an Irish point and two Listed bumpers before a brief novice hurdle career. Connections were keen to send Definitly Red chasing and he made a winning debut over the larger obstacles on New Year’s Day 2016 at Catterick, before chasing Blaklion home in the Grade 2 Towton for novices at Wetherby.
His novice campaign ended with a deserved victory at Listed level in a valuable handicap at the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr. A tilt at the big one here on Merseyside was the plan for Definitly Red in 2016-17 and he landed the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick back at Wetherby and later the Grimthorpe at Doncaster impressively en route to Aintree.
Nothing went right for him in the 2017 Grand National, however, with the saddle slipping and he then got badly hampered at Bechers and was pulled up soon after. Although next a distant third to Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall Chase on reappearance last season, Definitly Red impressively made all in this race 12 months ago when staying on well from the last to slam Cloudy Dream by seven lengths.
Proven form in the grade
He then made a successful foray south to Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase as he handled the mud best of all under a penalty when produced to lead three out and staying on strongly up the hill. Definitly Red was a ready eight lengths winner over American with dual Betfair Chase scorer Bristol De Mai a further couple of lengths behind in third.
That gave connections every right to dream of a Cheltenham Gold Cup tilt, but the Cotswold winner has a poor record in blue riband event of National Hunt steeplechasing. On tacky ground that didn’t suit, Definitly Red never really landed a blow on front two Native River and Might Bite, but did plug on to finish sixth and confirm the Cotswold form over American and finished ahead of Grade 1 winner Tea For Two and Irish Gold Cup hero Edwulf.
Although then making a bad blunder and unseating regular rider Danny Cook over course and distance in the Betway Bowl on his final start of last season, he resumed winning ways on reappearance when eased in grade. The Charlie Hall cut up with conditions at Wetherby nearing good to firm, yet Definitly Red handled the fast ground just fine and made most as runner-up Black Corton blundered badly down the back straight.
There’s no doubt Definitly Red is a versatile horse as regards going, so it being soft underfoot here holds no fears. His mark of 164 is the highest in the line-up and, although he has to give a 6lb penalty away to three rivals, he’s the proven class horse in the field. It’s Definitly Red that thus rates the NAP of our Aintree betting tips for December 8.Chica Buena worth a bet in classy Listed fillies’ contestFollowing on from the Many Clouds Chase is a cracking renewal of the extended 2m fillies’ juvenile hurdle (14:40), and Chica Buena brings some decent form to the table. Trained by Keith Dalgleish, the Irish import is unbeaten in two starts for her current handler and is three from six over hurdles.
This daughter of Thewayyouare has demonstrated real improvement from her first two runs over timber when fourth at Roscommon and sixth at Killarney over the summer. Although on that form Chica Buena has work to do with the re-opposing Emerald Isle raider Smiling Eliza, they are now rated just 3lb apart on official figures and she has proven herself on the going.
There was more to like about her penultimate run in Ireland when chasing home the thriving Chief Justice at the Listowel Harvest Festival. Chica Buena was beaten just five lengths by a classy winner who has since come out and landed a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse.
Unbeaten in Britain and smart back form
As she also broke the maiden tag before leaving the care of Brendan Duke when a comfortable six-length victor on this going at Ballinrobe, and the runner-up Lever Du Soleil placed third behind Chief Justice in that graded event, this form is arguably stronger than that achieved by Smiling Eliza. She also won by six lengths last time out, but the second in that Punchestown contest Our Legend was only fourth at Fairyhouse.
It leaves the impression that the assessor may have underestimated Chica Buena, who was an equally ready victor on her British bow for Dalgleish at Sedgefield. She then made a winning handicap debut at Musselburgh off a mark of 112 when quickening clear to lead in the last 50 yards and storm home by a cosy length.
Chica Buena has been put up 7lb for that success, but there’s plenty more to come from her now pitched into Listed company for the first time. Brian Hughes is once again on board and, despite the presence of the unexposed impressive debut winner Giving Glances in this line-up, his mount looks the value bet at the odds on offer.Dubai Angel an each-way betElsewhere on the card, Dubai Angel is one to consider each-way now returning to a softer surface for in-form trainer Ruth Jefferson in the 2m 4f Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle (13:00). This lightly-raced seven-year-old is a son of Dubai Destination and has won two of her six starts over the smaller obstacles, finishing second on three other occasions.
Dubai Angel chased Elgin home on his hurdles bow at Newcastle and was only beaten 2 1/2 lengths, pulling a further 18 clear of the third home. As the winner has gone on to land the Greatwood Handicap and Kingwell Hurdle, as well as finish fifth in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, that is very strong form.
It was a run that Dubai Angel clearly came on for as he broke the maiden tag over hurdles next time up at Sedgefield – when making all and beating the useful Dear Sire by a couple of lengths. Connections then stepped him up markedly in trip and he was far from disgraced when beaten five lengths giving 10lb to Catchamat.
A winning handicap debut at Newcastle in a similar class 2 affair to this followed, despite Dubai Angel shouldering top weight off an opening mark of 127. After being held-up, he made steady headway to track the leaders from three out. Although then left in front by a faller at the last, Dubai Angel only needed driving out on heavy ground to score by a 1 3/4 lengths.
Impressive win over further
The front two pulled 28 lengths clear of the third, and this was a career best to date that saw the assessor raise him 5lb. Connections then went chasing with Dubai Angel, but he’s finished third on both his starts over the larger obstacles to date and reverted to hurdles on his final start of last season.
He was an narrow half-a-length runner-up at Perth in April when just held close home, having made smooth headway from before two out and been ridden to challenge in between the final flights. As Dubai Angel was attempting to give away a whole stone to the winner, this was a great effort.
While he was last of nine over this trip on reappearance at Carlisle last month on good going, that run was too bad to be true having never previously finished outside of the first three in any race. It’d be no surprise to see Dubai Angel come on for his return to action and hit the frame at least now there’s more cut in the ground, especially as the handicapper has cut him some slack reducing his rating by 4lb to 129.
That is only 2lb higher than when last successful in the mud at Newcastle and gives him claims at the weights. Dubai Angel is therefore worth an each-way punt for a trainer on a 40 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight at the time of writing and thus completes our Aintree betting tips for December 8.Your Next Bet