While the Grand National will be dominating the headlines at Aintree this month, there are plenty of other fixtures taking place across the three-day meeting that are significant in their own right. One of those races is the Aintree Bowl, which is a Grade 1 steeplechase open to horses aged five years or older.
This year’s renewal is shaping up to be one of the races of the year, with Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Bravemansgame, multiple-time graded winner Ahoy Senor, former Clarence House Chase victor Shishkin, Savills Chase champion Conflated and 2022’s Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard just a handful of talented horses expected to line up in the Aintree Bowl on April 13.
Given the competitiveness of the race, the trends of previous winners have never seemed so important – and with that in mind – read on as we dissect the trends worth keeping an eye on and how the five aforementioned favorites match up in each category outlined.
Ten of the past 11 Aintree Bowl winners have been between eight and ten years old, an age group all five favorites fall into.
Eight of the previous 11 victors were in the top three in the betting lines prior to the race – which bodes well for Shishkin, Bravemansgame, and Conflated who are garnering the shortest prices in the Aintree Bowl Betting odds at 7/4, 3/1, and 11/4 respectively. Ahoy Senor and A Plus Tard round out the five favorites at 7/2 and 9/2.
A thoroughbred’s most recent outing hasn’t proven to be of much importance in renewals past, with none of the past 11 champions having reigned supreme in their race prior to running at the Grand National Festival.
If one of the five favorites were to win 2023’s edition, that record would remain, with Shishkin and Bravemansgame registering the best results of the five in their last time out – both of whom secured second-place finishes in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase respectively.
Ten of the previous 11 champions had at least three runs that season prior to lining up for the Aintree Bowl. That is the case for three of the five favorites in this year’s fixture, as Ahoy Senor, Conflated, and Bravemansgame all have three or more starts to their name in 2022/23. Contrast that with Shishkin and A Plus Tard, who have only three appearances between them this campaign.
It is a mixed bag when comparing the course form of this year’s five Aintree Bowl favorites. Conflated and Bravemansgame have both run at the famed course but failed to win, while A Plus Tard has not run at the Merseyside track at all.
Conversely, Shishkin has tasted success on one occasion, doing so in the Maghull Novices’ Chase in 2021 – while Ahoy Senor has reigned supreme twice at Aintree – finishing first past the post in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle and the Mildmay Novices’ Chase in 2021 and 2022 respectively.