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Aintree Festival – Day 3 – Aintree Grand National Day

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Well day 2 was a little more frustrating than the first day at Aintree. We had a couple I really fancied including Dan Skelton’s Virgilio in the first race, who I had put up at 12/1 as a solid each way bet, a 22 runner handicap, so we got paid on 4 places and where did he finish – in 5th 🙂 Then I had my strongest bet of Day 2 which was Blaklion, who had done so well to win the RSA Chase atDon't Push It Winning The Aintree Grand National in 2010 the Festival, but the faster flatter track did not help and he could not match Native River, and he finished in 3rd.

However, it puts into perspective just how difficult it is to find a winner at times when Vautour got turned over at a crazy short price, what annoyed me more was that the only horse that came up in my tracker for today was God’s Own and I dismissed it at 10/1, a costly misjudgement, as I knew he would love the faster ground but did not feel he had the class to match Vautour. At least Buveur D’Air did the business over Limini as I predicted in my race analysis.

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Day 3 Preview – Aintree Grand National Day

Although it is not a race I get involved with heavily, from a betting stand point, The Grand National is what got me into racing and I grew up as a boy watching Red Rum come back year after year. It captured me and I have loved racing ever since. Day 3 starts of with another 22 runner handicap hurdle and again I feel I have a decent priced each way bet in that. We then have three races dominated by short priced favourites.

Treble Heaven

Firstly we have Yorkhill, in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, and my only frustration here is that Yanworth does not get the opportunity to make up for his defeat in the Neptune at the Festival.There certainly is no Yanworth in this field and Yorkhill should win comfortably.

We then have the Maghull Novices’ Chase and Douvan has made the trip over, to follow up his Arkle win. I was at Cheltenham for that run and have got to say it was quite stunning how well he jumped and moved that day. Again there is little to worry him in this race and he will do a similar demolition job.

Finally we have my favourite horse in training at present, alongside Cue Card, and that is Thistlecrack in the Liverpool Stayers Hurdle and on the back of that World Hurdle win and his continual improvement race by race, I really can not see him having another horse within 10 lengths of him in this race.

Despite what happened with Limini and Vautour, I can not see any of the three above being beaten and I would recommend a nice Treble on them to try to make the price a little more attractive.

The Grand National

Aintree Grand NationalWell as for the big race, here is my view. After his recent success at Kelso Many Clouds who re-wrote the record books when winning last year as an eight-year-old under 11st 9lb, looks to have a great chance of being the first horse to do the double since Red Rum. Silviniaco Conti is the class act in the race, having won seven Grade 1 races over fences. He’s won over the Mildmay fences here in the last two years, however there are quistionmarks over the trip and if he can handle these fences, if he can then he could blow these away. Last year’s runner-up Saint Are arrives off the back of a recent win and is slightly better off at the weights. We also like The Druids Nephew who was travelling strongly when falling four out last year,he looked like he would have been in the mix without that. The quirky Holywell was 3rd in the Betfred Bowl here last year, behind Silviniaco Conti and also has strong credentials on form having run a cracker under a big weight at the Cheltenham Festival. The progressive The Last Samuri has shot up the weights recently and although he comes here on a mark of 149 he is still only carryin 10st 8lb on his back. He has been very strongly supported over the past few weeks. Shutthefrontdoor carried 11st 2lb last year and finished 5th, so he has strong claims this year only carrying 10st 11lb. Sire Des Champs is the final one for our shortlist, after his 2nd in the 2013 Gold Cup he has stayed over in Ireland, following a long break from the track, however he is back now and another who is top class when on his A -game. The fact Ruby Walsh has chosen him as his ride speaks volumes and he is certainly one to watch in the race.

So who will I be going for – well I will be backing Silviniaco Conti and The Druids Nephew both each way.

NOTE: As always I will be posting my stat picks, based on the video that I posted earlier, that will be up tomorrow by 11am, so make sure you check back then.

Whatever happens, enjoy the race and the final day of Aintree.