Aintree betting tips: Aye Aye Charlie and Cloudy Dream among Sunday shouts

The Aintree betting tips for October 28 on offer from Horsebetting.com make Aye Aye Charlie their NAP of the meeting in the 2m 4f maiden hurdle. Cloudy Dream is the next best bet in the feature Grade 2 Old Roan Chase over roughly the same. Lygon Rock, meanwhile, is each-way value in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle. Read all about these horses running during a cracking card on Merseyside in our Aintree betting tips for October 28.

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Odds
8/15
NAP
Aye Aye Charlie
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Odds
3/1
NB
Cloudy Dream
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Odds
7/1
E/W
Lygon Rock
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Aye Aye Charlie can break the maiden tag at Aintree

Aye Aye Charlie sets a high form standard in the 2m 4f maiden hurdle that gets proceedings underway on Old Roan Chase day at Aintree (12:40), so can finally get the win that some of his performances at a much higher level merit for trainer Fergal O’Brien. The six-year-old of Midnight Legend has a similar profile to stablemate Poetic Rhythm, who landed the Grade 2 Persian War at Chepstow during his second season as a novice hurdler.

In Aye Aye Charlie, O’Brien has a gelding that has finished third and fourth on two previous starts at the Merseyside venue, and in the first of those was just a neck behind Elgin on debut in a bumper. The runner-up went on to win the valuable Grade 3 Greatwood Handicap at Cheltenham and Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, so that gives the form a solid look.

Aye Aye Charlie went on to dead-heat in a Southwell bumper and be beaten less than 10 lengths by Pym when fourth in a similar race during the Scottish Grand National card at Ayr. The well-regarded winner has since won his hurdles debut at Chepstow, while the runner-up and third have also come out and earned victories since.

It left the impression that connections had a more than decent prospect on their hands, and that view was confirmed when Aye Aye Charlie lined-up in a hot renewal of this race 12 months ago. Although beaten 8 3/4 lengths by On The Blind Side, the form again has a very strong look to it.

The winner went on to land consecutive Grade 2s at Cheltenham and Sandown, while the fifth home Global Citizen also recorded subsequent success at that level when landing Kempton’s Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle. Although then falling three out in another race won by On The Blind Side, Aye Aye Charlie was then fourth to Tikkanbar and a staying on third to Santini in the Classic Novices’ Hurdle on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham.

Conditions were very tough on both of those outings, and he then shaped better than the bare result suggests when a 24-length seventh to Samcro in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival itself. Aye Aye Charlie was sent off 100/1 that day, so he outran his odds.

The runner-up Black Op, who was also in front of him in the Classic, confirmed the form when scoring Grade 1 glory over course and distance in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle during the Grand National meeting. Yet, on this occasion, Aye Aye Charlie gave a great account of himself and was beaten just 4 1/2 lengths in fourth place, and in doing so got the better of On The Blind Side to avenge earlier losses.

On all known form, this year’s renewal of this contest simply doesn’t look as strong as 12 months ago. Trainer O’Brien has joked Aye Aye Charlie is the highest rated maiden in Britain and, off a mark of 145, should thus be winning this hands down against poor opposition. He thus rated the NAP of our Aintree betting tips for October 28.

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Cloudy Dream weighted to gone better in Old Roan

The feature race is the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase (15:00), a limited handicap over about 2m 4f, and last year’s runner-up Cloudy Dream looks the one to be one for new trainer Donald McCain. Owned by Trevor Hemmings, the eight-year-old grey gelding only had the useful Smad Place three-quarters of a length in front of him in this 12 months ago.

Cloudy Dream was gaining all the way to the line having been slightly intimidated before the last. The winner had previously landed the old Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham and was rated 169 at his peak, so given that and the circumstances this was a huge effort.

Although Cloudy Dream didn’t win a race last season, that doesn’t tell the whole story as he chased home Fox Norton, Definitly Red and subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Native River in three other races at this level. He was then a best of the rest third behind Irish raiders Balko Des Flos and Un De Sceaux in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Festival.

While Cloudy Dream was later last of five to finish in the Grade 1 Melling Chase over course and distance, this was a sixth outing of a very demanding campaign. He may seem a perennial runner-up, including earlier in his career when chasing home both of Nicky Henderson’s stable stars Altior and Buveur D’Air over fences, but he’s only failed to make the frame once in 13 career outings when tackling the bigger obstacles.

Off just 2lb higher in this year’s Old Roan renewal that doesn’t look as classy as the 2017 running, Cloudy Dream can gain a deserved success for his new handler after leaving the Jeffersons over the summer. He is thus our next best bet among the Aintree betting tips for October 28.

Lygon ready to Rock under Johnson and each-way value

In the 2m 4f handicap hurdle earlier on the card (14:25), Lygon Rock looks solid each-way value for the in-form combination of trainer Henry Daly and jockey Richard Johnson. The five-year-old has never finished outside of the frame in five previous starts over hurdles and makes his handicap bow off a mark of 123 – just 1lb higher than when last successful.

After finishing sixth and fourth in a couple of bumpers, Lygon Rock was very unlucky on his first two starts over the obstacles. He made a costly error under conditional jockey Jack Sherwood on hurdles debut at Huntingdon and was beaten a length by Classic Ben.

Lygon Rock then just got outstayed by a game 100/1 shot when partnered by Johnson and tackling 2m 5f for the first time, and went down half-a-length at Ludlow. Although then third at Warwick and Hereford, things did drop right for him back at Ludlow in May where he made all.

In winning under Johnson, Lygon Rock scored by four lengths over Colonial Dreams, who had won his two previous starts and earlier chased home highly-regarded stablemate Black Op. Wind surgery followed over the summer and, if that has desired the effect, he could well be chucked in at the weights to this.

For a trainer and jockey operating on 33 per cent strike rates in the last fortnight, Lygon Rock looks to have plenty more to offer now sent handicapping. He therefore appeals to make the frame minimum again off a nice racing weight 10st 9lb in our Aintree betting tips for October 28.

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