2024 Grand National Recap: Friday 12th April

2024 Grand National Recap: Friday 12th April

After a fantastic opening day of action of the 2024 Grand National Meeting where four Grade 1 races were won. The top class racing continued into the second day of the meeting with more prestigious prizes being up for grabs. 

Read on as we recap the best of the action from Day 2 of the 2024 Grand National meeting.  

Race 1: Huyton Asphalt Franny Blennerhassett Memorial Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

  • Inothewayurthinkin - 6/4
  • Iroko - 9/2
  • Heart Wood - 5/1

The Irish domination of the Aintree Festival’s biggest races continued with the first race of the second day as the Gavin Cromwell trained Inothewayurthinkin justified his favourite tag when running out the convincing winner of the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Most of the early running was taken up by Broadway Boy, but with three fences to jump he was joined by Inothewayurthinkin and Iroko.

With the two about to set down to battle, it was Inothewayurthinkin who surged into the lead. Saving his best jumps for last, he cleared the final fence in front and held on over the flat to follow up his victory in the 2024 Kim Muir.

A talented young chaser, he looks like a horse to keep a real eye on next year.

Race 2: William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Handicap)

  • Kateria - 5/1
  • Jango Baire - 9/1
  • In the Waterside - 7/1

Top British trainer Dan Skelton showed that his stunning Cheltenham Festival form was no joke as his horse Kateria hung on for a convincing success in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle.

Having notched four wins from her eight career starts heading into the race, she showed exactly why she was one of the favoured horses as she produced the best performance of her career to secure her trainer yet another lucrative victory.

Well positioned throughout, Skelton’s jockey brother Dan had Kateria ideally placed throughout and made his move two flights from home.

Swooping to the front jumping the last, she had more than enough stamina to class to last the distance and crossed the line with plenty in hand.

Race 2: William Hill Handicap Hurdle (Handicap)

Race 3: TrustATrader Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • Mystical Power - 11/10
  • Firefox - 9/4
  • Lookaway - 20/1

Having failed to produce a winner in either of the day’s first two races, Willie Mullins was once again in the winner’s circle when one of his top novices Mystical Power made up for his runner up effort in the supreme to win one of the most prestigious races of the entire Aintree Festival.

Despite returning at short odds, Mystical Power certainly didn’t have things all his own way and he had to dig deep to hold off the fast finishing Firefox.

Leading as he jumped the final flight, Mystical Power led by a length and many expected him to bound clear.

Perhaps with the efforts of the Supreme starting to take effect, he started to tire up the famous Aintree run in and Firefox looked like snatching the victory.

With the line fast approaching, Mark Walsh asked Mystical Power for one more effort and was able to cross the line and claim the slim victory.

Race 4: My Pension Expert Melling Chase (Grade 1)

  • Jonbon - 11/10
  • Conflated - 12/1
  • Protektorat - 9/2 

Nicky Henderson’s superb form at this year’s Grand National meeting continued when Jonbon dominated the field in this year’s Melling Chase.

Having been withdrawn from the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he showed no signs of rust as he powered clear of his rivals to capture one of the festival’s most prestigious prizes.

Jockey Nico de Boinville was happy to bide his time and moved Jonbon to the front with just a couple of fences to jump. Sent to the front approaching the last, he sneaked clear of Conflated and quickly put the race to bed on the runup to the line.

Conflated had to settle for second with Protektorat for Dan and Harry Skelton finishing back in third.

Race 5: Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (Handicap)

  • Arizona Cardinal - 20/1
  • James Du Berlais - 6/1
  • Kandoo Kid - 10/1

The Topham is the second race of the festival where the Grand National fences are rolled out and it has long been regarded as one of the most iconic races of the three day meeting.

Whereas the first few races of the day were great for favourite backers, the Topham was one for the bookies as Arizona Cardinal returned at a big price.

In what was a topsy turvy affair, he led with four fences to jump but was then headed by the Willie Mullins trained James Du Berlais with just two fences remaining. With many expecting James Du Berlais to be bound to the finishing line, the Arizona Cardinal would show tremendous heart and refused to give up the fight.

With both horses tiring up the run-in it was Arizona Cardinal who had just enough in the tank and in the final 50 yards snuck to the front to claim a memorable win for his yard.

Race 5: Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (Handicap)

Race 6: Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’s Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • Dancing City - 4/1
  • Jukebox Man - 85/40
  • Cherie D’Am - 7/1

Having been denied in the Topham, the star duo of Paul Townend and Wilie Mullins weren’t to be denied in this year’s renewal of the Sefton Hurdle. 

Another iconic race of the festival, Dancing City was able to put the heartbreak of his third place finish in the Alber Bartlett firmly behind him with a victory here.

Havin tracked The Jukebox Man’s every step, he drew alongside with just two hurdles to jump and put the race on ice with a slick jump over the final hurdle.

With The Jukebox Man having expended so much energy in the first half of the race, he was unable to respond and would have to settle for a distant second place finish.

Race 7: Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Handicap)

  • El Jefe - 40/1
  • Ballee - 22/1
  • Afadil - 9/1

The second day of this year’s Grand National meeting finished with another big priced winner as El Jefe produced the shock at 40/1 to ensure that the bookmakers would leave the course happy.

El Jefe headed into the contest in good form following two wins from his last three starts and he showed all of his class as he produced a stunning last to first effort to shock the eighteen man field.

A runner who likes to close from well off the pace, he found himself in ninth place jumping the last fence but was still full of running as he headed up the run in.

Breezing past tiring horses, he hit the front with just fifty yards to run and gamely hung onto land in one of the biggest races of his career.

Click here to read our recap of Day 3 of the 2024 Grand National meeting.