Grand National day has dawned and it’s all eyes on the Tiger at 5.15, in its attempt to repeat its victory of last year.
Tiger Roll is 9lbs higher this time round but, after winning the Mickey Mouse (sorry, the Cross Country) race at the Festival by an astonishing 22 lengths, TR seems to have improved about 2 stones since a year ago.
Regrettably, history he say ‘no’, as there hasn’t been a dual National winner since Red Rum and you have to go back a bit for that, so, at 5-1 we pass.
Our mini portfolio of three against the other 37 is made up of Rathvinden (9-1), Vintage Clouds (16-1) and Joe Farrell (20-1) and let’s hope we are involved at the death.
Televised action starts with the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at 2.25 and in this we give another chance to Angels Breath, which is available at 11-4.
Maybe a bit disappointing at Cheltenham, NJH‘s 5-y-o steps up in trip today and, hopefully, will reward the trainer’s faith.
At 3.00, the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase has a field of 7, headed in the market by Us And Them, last seen finishing second in the Arkle. Also in that race and going butt over mammary at the 6th was Ornua, which has a chance today to show that it was unlucky. With a victory over yesterday’s easy Topham winner Cadmium and a close second to Dynamite Dollars already on its CV, Ornua can make all the running and win. Take the 4-1 on offer.
At 3.40 the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle over 3m is a two horse race according to official ratings, those two being Apple’s Jade and Sam Spinner which dominate the market at 6-4 and 6-1 respectively.
On the grounds that ratings aren’t everything, we are of a mind to oppose both with an each way bet on William Henry at 9-1.
Nicky Henderson‘s 9-y-o came right back to its best form after a wind op to land the Coral Cup last month and follows in the footsteps of erstwhile stable companion Whisper, which added this race to the CV two years ago.
Prelude to the ‘big ‘un’ is the Betway Handicap Chase at 4.20, a race in which every jockey tries to avoid getting buried. We don’t think this is the greatest race for the money and suggest each way bets on Polydora (9-1) and the Northern Ireland challenger Amaulino (14-1).
Bring on the prancing horses.
Rathvinden 5.15 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (7 places Unibet)
Vintage Clouds 5.15 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (7 places Unibet)
Joe Farrell 5.15 Aintree 0.5pts e/w @ 20-1 (7 places Unibet)
Angels Breath 2.25 Aintree 2pts win @ 11-4
Ornua 3.00 Aintree 2pts win @ 4-1
William Henry 3.40 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (4 places)
Polydora 4.20 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places SkyBet)
Amaulino 4.20 Aintree 2pts e/w @ 14-1 (6 places SkyBet)