Day Two was an each-way and places affair, but Inthepocket provided some good win money for Best of Bet’s viewers. Now it’s the big day. Grand National Day. Where the whole nation will have a flutter on 40 horses, jumping 30 fences in 10 minutes.
Just to note, I’ve written a special preview of my Grand National picks, which you can find by clicking on the link here.
NAP: DASHEL DRASHER – Liverpool Hurdle – 8/1
This race looks as competitive as the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Which inclines me to go with Dashel Drasher. A fantastic run for second, he hasn’t finished outside the top two since November 2021, only being pulled up once. The ground won’t be a problem, and he is the fourth highest-rated horse. He has plenty of form in the book to overturn his anguish at Cheltenham last time out. His Aintree record is a first and second, and can add another one or two to his record on Saturday.
E/W BET: Monmiral – Liverpool Hurdle – 16/1
Monmiral hasn’t been the best over fences, and this feel like the right decision from Paul Nicholls. But don’t forget who he’s come up behind. Jonbon on his debut, The Real Whacker on New Year’s Day and Gerri Colombe in the Scilly Isles’. If you want to look for Grade One form, you’ve found it with Monmrial. And don’t forget, he is a Grade One winner over hurdles, at Aintree. This is over much further and in better company. But he hasn’t come to this race for nothing. Plus, Harry Cobden has had a brilliant week in the big races.
Handicap Best: West Balboa – Village Hotels Handicap Hurdle – 7/1
West Balboa missed Cheltenham, which was a surprise for some. She comes here after narrowly winning the Lanzarote at Kempton. She goes well on soft ground, and the step up in trip won’t bother her. The Skelton’s have been unlucky this week, and whilst they’ll want Le Milos to win the big one at 5:15, she should provide a nice appetiser in the second race.
Another I like is Erne River. He disappointed at Haydock, but has had a layoff and should get his ground. He’s quite high in the handicap, and has never won off a mark higher than 136. That being said, he’s always been placed. A nice couple of seconds to his name off a higher mark, makes for a good each-way appeal.
Glimpse of Gala is way down the prices after blowing out at the Cheltenham Festival, but Bradley Roberts is back on her and claiming 7lbs. Her last appearance at Aintree resulted in a narrow second off a mark of 123, with Roberts claiming eight. Roberts’ claim, off a mark of 136, puts her down to 129, which she can more than manage. Ground is also perfect for her.
All prices are William Hill – Official Betting Partner of the Grand National
13:45 – Calico (W/O Jonbon)
14:25 – WEST BALBOA (Erne River & Glimpse of Gala e/w)
15:00 – Hermes Allen (Irish Point e/w)
15:35 – DASHEL DRASHER (NAP) (MONMIRAL E/W)
16:15 – Shakem Up’Arry (Kinondo Kwetu & Castle Robin e/w)
17:15 – THE GRAND NATIONAL
18:20 – Pour Les Filles (Go To War e/w)
The very best of luck!