Grand National Festival 2024 | Day One: Selections and Naps


After the major success of the Cheltenham Festival, the Spring Festivals offer more opportunity to add to the balance. Today it’s all about the Grade One’s and some mouth-watering clashes between some of the stars of Cheltenham.

NAP: William Hill Aintree Bowl (GRADE ONE) – Shishkin @ 11/4 (General)

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Shishkin fell victim to the Nicky Henderson curse at the Cheltenham Festival but seems to be one of those that has bounced back quickly. And this race would’ve been in the pipeline after the Gold Cup. And this race has fell right into his lap. He won last year’s contest with, arguably, a weak field. Now the field seems stronger, but Shishkin still has the ability to win another. He’ll go well on what will be extreme ground this weekend.

Corbetts Cross also has the ability to chuck himself right into it too. A dominant display in the Brown Advisory sees him step up into the big time. Winning on heavy ground in Cheltenham by a wide margin showcased that he can easily match those who have vastly more experience than him. 7/2 (William Hill, BetUK).


E/W BET: Manifesto Novices’ Chase (GRADE ONE) – Colonel Harry @ 28/1 (General)

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Only two horses in the field act well on heavy ground. Grey Dawning and Colonel Harry who both ran in the Turners’ at the Festival. Granted that the latter may be out of his depth in a Grade One. But with the heavy ground, anything can happen. He was second in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown on heavy ground, then backed it up with a win, in similar conditions, in the Grade Two Towton at Wetherby. There also hasn’t been a winning favourite of this race since 2013, so might not be as open and shut as you would think.


Handicap Best: Red Rum Handicap Chase (Premier) – Sans Bruit @ 7/1 (BetVictor, BetUK)

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This isn’t the best handicap by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s the only handicap of the day. Saint Roi looks to be the favourite but there are others that make a little more appeal, particularly with the ground. One of them is Sans Bruit who is being quickly turned out after finishing second at Chepstow 10 days ago. He’s a winner on heavy in France and hasn’t set the world alight since transferring to Paul Nicholls. However, with a low weight on his back and generally unexposed at this level, he may be worth a chance.

Irish Blaze is another that could be worth a chance. The English handicapper has been a bit harsh on a horse who reignited his chasing campaign back in December. It’s a little odd that trainer Cian Collins has waited since finishing third in a novice chase to Mister Policeman. Has this race been what he’s been working towards? Each-way claims at 16/1 (General).



13:45 – Manifesto Novices’ Chase (GRADE ONE) – Grey Dawning @ Evs (William Hill, Unibet), COLONEL HARRY E/W @ 28/1 (General)

14:20 – Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (GRADE ONE) – Sir Gino @ 10/11 (General), Kalif Du Berlais e/w @ 8/1 (BetVictor, Unibet)

14:55 – William Hill Aintree Bowl (GRADE ONE) – SHISHKIN (NAP) @ 11/4 (General), Corbetts Cross e/w @ 7/2 (William Hill, BetUK)

15:30 – William Hill Aintree Hurdle (GRADE ONE) – Bob Olinger @ 15/8 (William Hill, BetVictor, Unibet)

16:05 – Hunter’s Chase – Bennys King @ 13/2 (BetVictor, Betfred), Annamix e/w @ 6/1 (General), Matts Commission e/w @ 100/1 (General)

16:40 – Red Rum Handicap Chase (Premier) – SANS BRUIT (HB) @ 7/1 (BetVictor, BetUK), Irish Blaze e/w @ 16/1 (General)

17:15 – Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ NHF (Grade Two) – Honky Tonk Highway @ 4/1 (General)

The very best of luck!

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