Aintree Grand national Meeting- Saturday Preview


black op.jpgBy Samantha (14/4/18)

One of the biggest days in the racing calendar is upon us. At five fifteen on Saturday 14th April, thirty-eight of Britain and Ireland’s top staying chasers will contest the 182nd running of the Grand National. Despite that being the main race on the card, there is some great racing for fans to look forward to in the build-up and an interesting looking handicap hurdle after the main event.

Gaskells Handicap Hurdle

Likely favourites, Dream Berry and Stamp Your Feet, have been taken out leaving a field of twenty. Mr Big Shot is lightly-raced and went into the Cheltenham Festival unbeaten but ended up finishing tenth. He should like the ground. NOW MCGINTY gets my tentative vote. Stuart Edmunds’ son of Stowaway won his last two races, both at Warwick. He was put up 10lbs for the first victory and then followed it up to win by twenty lengths last time out. He’s a fantastic each way contender but has to step up in grade. Debece hasn’t been seen since finishing third behind The Worlds End in last year’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle. He probably would’ve preferred soft ground that day, as that is the surface he has won on, so he will like it today.

Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle

BLACK OP was second behind Samcro in the Ballymore Hurdle. Before that, he finished a good second behind Santini, who won yesterday, on heavy going so the conditions shouldn’t be a problem. Lostintranslation beat him in a maiden hurdle. Since then, the latter has been sixth and seventh and it looks easy for Black Op to reverse the running. On The Blind Side is a course and distance winner who is unbeaten. He hasn’t tackled ground like this under rules before but he won on soft in a point-to-point. We haven’t seen him since December so he will be coming here fresh. Silver Concorde is interesting. He used to be with Dermot Weld and is now with Keith Dalgleish. The horse is ten and has ran seventeen times over hurdles. Only out of the top three in three of those runs, he is having a big step up in grade but he has won three of his last four. A downside is that he is three years older than his nearest pursuer, age-wise. Still, he looks over-priced at 50/1. Momella is the only mare in the field and goes for Dan and Harry Skelton. On The Blind Side is the only horse to ever beat her in her four starts to date. That was in a Grade 2 hurdle race and Momella won a mares hurdle on soft last time out. The others look up against it and Bedrock ran a huge race yesterday to finish third.

petit muchoir

Maghull Novices Chase

PETIT MUCHOIR can take this in a pathetic excuse for a Grade One. He was just denied second in the Arkle by Brain Power and had to settle for third. He is an Irish Champion hurdle winner and brigs some class into this average field. Paul Nicholls has Diego Du Charmil and he may be the best of the rest. He’s a Scottish County Hurdle winner and won first time out over chase fences. He finished third behind Shantou Rock and second behind Saint Calvados. He fell last time out so that could be a worry. Shantou Rock has been second on three of his four starts this season and won his first chase. He has been two lengths behind Sceau Royal at Doncaster in a Grade Two and could be a nice each way shot. Lady Buttons won last time out but, despite being a Listed winner, this could be tough for her. The other two look out of their depths.

Betway Handicap Chase

Wakanda has never won over three miles but he has placed over further. He was pulled up in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham but before that, he won a Listed race where you could’ve thrown a exercise sheet over the first four. Last year’s winning connections have Viconte Du Noyer, who hasn’t ran well at all this season, so he is an outsider. ROCKLANDER ran a stormer to finish third at Cheltenham behind Mister Whitaker in the Close Brothers Novices’ Chase. He hasn’t ran over three miles before but he looks as if he’d stay to three miles after winning over two miles six. He won’t mind the conditions and can take this. Thomas Patrick is his main rival. Connections were singing his praises after winning last time out. He has form over trip and ground but has had a hard year, running nine times since October. Ibis Du Rheu hasn’t won since March 2016 and was two places behind Rocklander in the Close Brothers. Only managed fourth and fifth places this season. Paper Lantern and Bells Of Ailworth both have chances.

sam spinner

Ryanair Stayers Hurdle

SAM SPINNER can take this. He didn’t seem to like Cheltenham in the Stayers Hurdle and he could only manage fifth. He was behind third placed Wholestone but in front The Worlds End. My selection won the Long Walk at Ascot with The Worlds End, Thomas Campbell and Lil Rockerfeller all behind. Aintree will suit Sam Spinner more. The Worlds End seems to have lost his way since winning at this meeting last year and Lil Rockerfeller isn’t getting any younger. Wholestone won the Relkeel Hurdle over two miles four furlongs. His three miles form isn’t great and doesn’t seem to stay. Old Guard won the National Spirit and has a shot.

Randox Health Grand National

Click Grand National Preview  to see Evie’s runner by runner guide for the biggest steeple chase of them all.

Our selections-

Evie- Vieux Lion Rouge

Samantha- Saint Are, Total Recall, Captain Redbeard and Raz Dev Maree.

Gaurav- Tiger Roll

Lois- Tiger Roll, Milansbar, Vieux Lion Rouge, Saint Are, Carlingford Lough and Tenor Nivernais

Pinsent Mason’s handicap Hurdle

It is a shame that Chesterfield has been taken out as he had a great chance. Micheal’s Mount is likely favourite after he won well last time out. He’s two from three over hurdles and there seems lots of improvement left in him. UNISON has won his last two over this distance on soft ground. He should like conditions and has a very good chance. Dear Sire won last time out well. High Expectations and Havanna Beat both have good chances

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