It’s Grand National Day at Aintree, but with three Grade 1s, a couple of handicaps, and a bumper also lined up, that’s not all she wrote on Merseyside.
Here’s our four Lucky 15 selections for the big day, without a steeplechase entrant in sight. It would only fall at the first…
Nicky Henderson’s horses are going well at Aintree so far, with Theinval and Rajdhani Express both winning at 7/1-plus and places for Call The Cops, Vyta Du Roc and Hunt Ball.
Having sidestepped Cheltenham, Days Of Heaven is completely unexposed, unlike Neptune Hurdle second and third Parlour Games and Nichols Canyon, and has shaped like a horse itching to progress in his last three starts, all of them easy wins.
This Evan Williams runner won a 2m handicap hurdle at last year’s Aintree festival and has taken two of five races since, finishing runner-up in another, before getting to within 19l of Un De Sceaux, no mean feat, when coming fifth in the Cheltenham Festival Arkle Chase last time out.
It will take a career-best effort in this classy Grade 1, but the eight-year-old looks a decent price nonetheless.
Ruby Walsh’s jockey booking can’t be ignored on a horse that has won twice and finished runner-up twice in his last four runs on ground worse than good.
It looks to be going good-to-soft at Aintree after a bit of rain, meaning conditions are in for Jessica Harrington’s charge.
It’s interesting to see Sir Mark Prescott with a runner in this Aintree bumper, and a son of former 2000 Guineas and Derby winner Sea the Stars no less.
Sea Pride’s form reads 321 and he stretched his legs impressively to take an 11-runner race by 11 lengths last time out at Southwell.
This is tougher, but with jockey Michael Nolan taking off three pounds, plus age allowances as a four-year-old, he looks well worth a punt at the prices.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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