It’s Grand National Day and what an exciting race to enjoy. If you cannot get “revved up” for this race where luck plays as big a part as your handicap mark then ask your doctor to check if there is any blood running through your veins. As there are 40 runners we will take the unusual step of selecting 3 runners to try and win this special race.
The horses I want to be with in this race have to have won over a trip at least 3 miles and being prepared specifically for the Grand National all season. Rocky Creek is the horse they all have to beat but the value in his price has well and truly disappeared. On top of that and despite a breathing operation he has major stamina questions to answer having faded so badly in this race last year.
Ok, the three horses I really like and think have excellent chances of jumping around and winning are First Lieutenant, Al Co & Soll. Our main fancy is First Lieutenant who has been laid out all season with this race in mind. A few average runs before the national weights came out saw the handicapper drop First Lieutenant quickly down the ratings and off 154 this Grade 1 chaser looks well in!
He has course form, loves good ground and jumps like a stag. Nina Carberry takes the ride and she is a good booking having more experience than many over cross country fences and courses when riding for Enda Bolger. She won earlier in the week over the National Fences riding On The Fringe and her confidence will he high. Trainer “Mouse” Morris is one of the best trainers for targeting a race and bringing his horse to the boil for one big day. First Lieutenant is 10 years old and that is the right age profile to win the National. All emotions aside the horse has a fantastic chance of winning with some luck in running over the first few fences.
The other two to back today are last years Scottish National winner Al Co and Soll. Both horses have bags of stamina and look overpriced in the betting market. Soll has won since the weights were announced and is therefore well in at the weights. David Pipe has Grand National fences installed at his training establishment Nicholshayne and will have Soll well schooled and familiar with National Like fences.
Al Co is not as well handicapped as the other two selections at the weights but has already won a grand national and is trying to follow the same route to grand national victory as done by Auroras Encore. He loves good ground and was given a sighter of the national fences back in December. His last two runs were over hurdles to get him match fit and trainer Peter Bowen is very confident of a big run. Regular jockey Jamie Moore is out with a broken leg but Bowen has secured the services of ice cool Denis O’Regan who is a jockey I rate very highly. Hopefully, Al Co can get into a good jumping rhythm early doors and if he does expect to see him there or thereabouts over the last fence.
Aintree – 16:15
Selection A: 1 Point Each Way First Lieutenant (20/1 Betvictor 6 places else 20/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places.
Selection B: 1 Point Each Way Soll (20/1 Betvictor 6 places else 20/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places.
Selection A: 1 Point Each Way Alco (22/1 Betvictor 6 places else 25/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places.
Best of Luck,