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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Punting pointers to take out of Friday with an eye on Saturday action

Jester Jet: won Friday's opener for the in-form Tom Lacey
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Lacey form a big plus for Thomas Patrick

The giant strides made by Herefordshire-based trainer Tom Lacey in recent months were given greater recognition after Jester Jet's victory in the Grade 3 Alder Hey Children's Charity Handicap Hurdle under Robbie Dunne.

The biggest success of his career with the 20-1 shot was just reward for Lacey following his outstanding form since the start of March. The trainer ended last month with ten winners from 16 runners and he has continued his excellent strike-rate into April.

He also saddled Meep Meep (9-1) to finish fourth and Kateson (16-1), who came home in second, to run highly creditable races in the two bumpers at Aintree.

Thomas Patrick: one to watch on Grand National day

Lacey's sole runner at the course on Saturday is stable star Thomas Patrick, who holds leading claims in the Betway Handicap Chase (3.40) after running his rivals ragged at Newbury last month.

Get on the bandwagon

Daryl Jacob and owners Isaac Souede and Simon Munir have teamed up to win three races over the first two days of the Grand National meeting from just five runners. Those included Terrefort, who won the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase on Friday.

Ucello Conti: goes for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede in the Grand National

The powerful owners, whose two-tone green silks are often seen out in force at the big jumps meetings, have five runners at Aintree on Saturday – three of which are due to be partnered by Jacob – and it would be foolish not to give them a second look.

Their main hope would be the Gordon Elliott-trained Ucello Conti in the Grand National. The trainer has reported him to be in great form ahead of this contest and Jacob would have been given a confidence boost when completing the course on Polidam in the Topham Chase on Friday.

Course form crucial in the National

Ultragold wasn't given as much respect as he deserved in the Topham Chase on Friday and the Colin Tizzard runner, who won the race in 2017, duly followed up under Harry Cobden.

His previous experience over the fences clearly helped the gelding, who was entering the winner's enclosure for the first time since.

Ultragold (yellow cap) leads the Topham field at Canal Turn

Look for horses with form over the National fences for the showpiece on Saturday. Runners that fit the bill include: Blaklion, The Last Samuri, Vieux Lion Rouge, Gas Line Boy, Ucello Conti and Saint Are.

Results, replays and analysis of Friday's action

Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on


Jacob would have been given a confidence boost when completing the course on Polidam in the Topham Chase on Friday
E.W. Terms
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