It’s the Grand National on Saturday, the race that grabs the attention of the entire country. Everyone loves a bet on the ‘National’, writes Jeff Garlick.
Rachel Blackmore hit the headlines last year becoming the first female jockey to win the race. She returns again on Minella Times to attempt the double and their chances are much respected. However I fancy the Gordon Elliot trained Delta Work to run a big race. He won the Cross Country race at the Festival beating Aintree legend Tiger Roll into second.
That race proved his versatility as it takes a nimble horse to negotiate those unique fences. He has also won a Pertemps Hurdle and was fifth in a Gold Cup, so his overall form is better than most in the race. He has yet to tackle the Aintree fences, which is a negative, but Tiger Roll won on his first run at Aintree, after also winning the Cross Country, so it can be done.
Versatile also describes Farclas who is a stablemate of my selection. He has won a Triumph Hurdle, as did Tiger Roll, run second in the Paddy Power Plate and was fifth in the Grand National last year when only a seven-year-old. With another year of experience he will run well again. Snow Leopardess will be the ‘story’ of the race if she wins. She is a grey, has returned to racing after giving birth, and is owned by the famous Fox-Pitt family.
Despite being a teenager, I also think Blaklion has a decent chance at massive odds. He was the first English trained horse home last year when sixth and has run over the fences five times without falling. Heavy ground would help his cause.
But Aintree is not just about the Grand National, it is now a top three-day meeting. The Betway Bowl is the feature race on Thursday where I fancy the 2019 winner Kemboy. He beat Clan Des Obeaux by an easy nine lengths that day and has swerved Cheltenham with this race in mind. The Fox Hunters Chase features more in-experienced riders than usual and I have backed Myth Buster at 33/1 who will be ridden by top amateur Patrick Mullins.
My best bet on Friday is Fakir D’Oudairies in the Marsh Chase, a race he won last year. I would also like to see Ahoy Senor reverse the form with his Cheltenham conqueror L’Homme Presse in the Mildmay Chase. On Saturday Thyme Hill is expected to repeat last year’s success in the Liverpool Hurdle.
Garlick’s ‘Aintree’ Goodies
THURSDAY2:55 - Kemboy4:05 – Myth Buster
FRIDAY2:55 – Ahoy Senor3:30 – Fakir D’oudairies
SATURDAY3:30 – Thyme Hill5:15: 1. Delta Work, 2. Farclas, 3. Snow Leopardess, 4. Blaklion