Our resident tipster Raceolly is back for his best bets on Grand National day, and you can see all of his picks for Saturday’s races here…
BEAUPORT He may have a bit of weight here but the horses at the top of the handicap have a good record in this and despite a 6lb gain after his last win it still looked like there was room for to get better. The six-year-olds have a good record of winning it six times in the last 14 years and four of the last nine winners have been rated at least 145, another five have been rated at least 137, so it’s worth being at the top of the handicap His 2nd place in a grade 3 handicap hurdle at Sandown behind Green Book worked well and before that he ran a great race behind Dashel Drasher who was badly handicapped. However, being out of the top two since the 26-pound handicap improvement and every one of them under today’s jockey Jordon Nailor, who once again claims the 3-pound.
NORTH LODGE he won his hurdles debut here at Aintree and then followed that up with a Grade 2 hurdles victory at Cheltenham. He hit a short head in a Grade 2 at Kelso last time, giving the winner 5lbs and going down again on a trip. He goes back to the two and a half miles here where he won the Grade 2 at Cheltenham and skipped the Cheltenham Festival for this as the last two winners, which is interesting. Five-year-olds have won nine of the last 17 races and Alan King has a 19% win rate this season by signing Adrian Heskin.
KILLER KANE he has gained 11 pounds for a tongue tie placement this year and could improve even more in just his sixth career start. The seven year olds have won the last two renewals and the Tizzards have won this in 2017. 14 of the last 18 running backs carried under 11 pounds and nine of the last 11 were rated between 131 and 140 and he meets all the requirements and also he had already won more than three miles this season and both victories on flat tracks. Kempton’s win is working out very well, the other four horses that have raced since finishing behind him that day, three have won and a fourth unseated when he was leading. That remains his only race over three miles under the rules and plenty of reason to be hopeful for more improvements to come.
I was expecting Roi Mage to make the cut for this at a huge price, but since he misses out, I’m left with a few shorts. Snow Leopardess has an obvious shot at this season form, but I think she’s priced right. Although AT ANY TIME it’s a similar price, it’s the best handicap in last year’s race, where he was unlucky enough to finish third after being severely hampered. Ted Walsh knows how to set one up for the Grand National and has once again designed Any Second Now to perfection for this, racing steeplechase to preserve his handicap mark before winning a Grade 3 pursuit. He won a Grade 3 pursuit. 2 over two miles before last year’s revamp and a Grade 3 chase the year before, so he has a touch of class when he’s fit and ready to race and has waited a year to get his payback. Being a double figure age is not a bad thing when it comes to the National with nine winners of at least 10 years in the last 19 years.
SURF RAYS he trails at a low weight and has very good handicaps with both marathon races getting big boosts of late. Gericault Roque was the first to improve on form from him by finishing second at the Cheltenham Festival, narrowly falling to a late Ultima finisher, Eclair Surf who beat him by 13 lengths in the Classic Chase at Warwick. He then went down a length on the Eider at Newcastle behind Win My Wings, who easily won the Scottish Grand National by 8lbs higher. Racing in this 143 even though the official rating is now 147 and it could very well be suitable for Grand National hurdles judging by the jumps in those races.
HENRY THE SECOND might have had this as the plan since he won at Ascot beating one who ran a great race for us in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper at the festival. Yard has won this in the last two races and last year with one that took the same route before winning this. Saddler Maker’s horses have a 23% win rate in bumpers after 19 winners from 83 runners and Paul Nicholls has a 38% win rate in bumpers at Aintree over the last five years.