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Grand National tips for the Aintree Grand National, run over more than 4 miles on Saturday 14th April 2018.

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IN SUMMARY: With forty runners lining up for this prestigious contest, it’s impossible to narrow this down to just one. Our first selection is I JUST KNOW, a game front-runner who relished the step up to 3m 6f two starts ago when making all with a brilliant round of exuberant jumping. He was freshened up for the race with a good second over an inadequate trip at Uttoxeter last month and back over the marathon distances, where he is unexposed, he should make a very bold bid for Sue Smith.

Our second selection is Gordon Elliott’s UCELLO CONTI, who was still travelling powerfully when unseating his rider on the second circuit of this race twelve months ago. He was sixth in this race back in 2016 which gives him the experience edge and he’s matured plenty since that run, so his stamina should hold out far better this time around. The ground has gone in to his favour and he arrives here fresh, which will be a huge advantage come 5.15pm.


Thunder And Roses silk
Thunder And Roses
J: J J Slevin T: M. F. Morris, Ireland
Won the Irish Grand National in 2015 but he's fallen on his last two starts, including in that aforementioned race on his latest outing. He's clearly out of sorts and the handicapper is proving very slow to relent. Others are have far less to prove.
Buywise silk
Buywise
J: Adam Wedge T: Evan Williams
Won his last chasing assignment with a ready success at Sandown over three miles in January, arriving here off seven pound higher. He was well beaten in this race two years ago, but that was off six pounds higher and he'll relish today's ground. He's very much all or nothing but if finding his feet early, he could snatch a place.
Walk In The Mill silk
Walk In The Mill
J: Robert Walford T: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
Two good runs over three miles at Ascot earlier this season, but they both came on better ground and with a bigger stamina test on heavy at Haydock last time, he was pulled up. He weakened rapidly that day and given this will be even tougher, he couldn't be recommended.
Raz De Maree silk
Raz De Maree
J: Robbie Power T: Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland
Finally got his day in the sun when winning the Welsh Grand National on his latest start, arriving here off a fair mark. He unseated his rider in this race twelve months ago and his jumping remains a worry. He'll certainly get his ground here though and he just keeps on galloping. Hard to rule out for a place.
I Just Know silk
I Just Know
J: Danny Cook T: Sue Smith
Front-runner who loved the marathon test when making all over 3m 5f in the North Yorkshire Grand National in January. He jumped extremely well that day and his hurdling run since was extremely good given the trip was inadequate. That run will have put him right and off 10st 7lb, he has an extremely good chance.
Virgilio silk
Virgilio
J: Harry Skelton T: Dan Skelton
Lightly raced nine year old who won over the Mildmay fences back in May 2017, flopping on both his runs this season. He's back down to a handful mark now, but softer ground presents a question mark (has tried to avoid it most of his career) and he does have stamina to prove. Others arrive as far more interesting choices.
Baie Des Iles silk
Baie Des Iles
J: Ms K. Walsh T: Ross O'Sullivan, Ireland
Arrives here in good form, finishing third in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February. She arrives here on the same mark and looks just the type to be really suited by this step up in distance. She's ground versatile and shouldn't be far away for a place today.
Maggio silk
Maggio
J: Brendan Powell T: Patrick Griffin, Ireland
Now a thirteen year old who seemed to have his golden chance in 2016, but he just missed the cut. He sustained an injury before last year's renewal and he now gets his first clear shot at the race, arriving on the back of some disappointing runs. He'll relish the ground, but his age may be the barrier today.
Pendra silk
Pendra
J: Aidan Coleman T: Charlie Longsdon
Tailed off in this race in 2016, only seen twice since and once this season. He was weakened tamely at Cheltenham last time and has had wind surgery since with the first time tongue-tie applied. Stamina is a big concern and on this softer ground, he's impossible to recommend.
Childrens List silk
Childrens List
J: Jonathan Burke T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Has only run four times over fences and he weakened very tamely in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February. That was over 3m 4f and wasn't a good advert for his chances upped massively in distance once again. Plenty to prove and should lack the experience.
Ucello Conti silk
Ucello Conti
J: Daryl Jacob T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Still going strongly when unseated the rider on the second circuit twelve months ago, arriving this season off two pounds lower. He's had two very good preparation runs this season, relishing a stamina test. He's matured since last year and with connections in red-hot form, he should put in a strong challenge under the in form Jacob.
Lord Windermere silk
Lord Windermere
J: A. E. Lynch T: J. Culloty, Ireland
Ran a fair race twelve months ago when seventh off three pounds higher, but he returned this campaign with a heavy fall in the Becher. He's now twelve years old and he seems to lack the cruising speed that can keep him close enough to the pace so he can deliver a meaningful challenge late on.
Captain Redbeard silk
Captain Redbeard
J: Sam Coltherd T: Stuart Coltherd
Couldn't live with The Dutchman in the Peter Marsh two starts ago, winning over hurdles since in a lower grade. He returns to fences upped to a distance which isn't sure to bring the best out of him. His jumping can be wayward on occasion and others are preferred here.
Houblon Des Obeaux silk
Houblon Des Obeaux
J: Charlie Deutsch T: Venetia Williams
Likeable eleven year old who finished tenth in this race twleve months ago, coming from the clouds late on. He's fine on softer ground and stamina isn't of any concern. A more prominent ride could reap benefits this time around, especially off this mark. Interesting for a yard in red-hot form.
Bless The Wings silk
Bless The Wings
J: J. W. Kennedy T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Performs best over the Cross Country fences at Cheltenham, winning over 3m 6f back in December. He's struggled the last twice including a heavy defeat behind Tiger Role at the Festival and he arrives here after pulling up in the Irish Grand National. Softer ground should be his undoing.
Milansbar silk
Milansbar
J: Bryony Frost T: Neil King
Has been in mainly good form this season, winning the Classic Chase before a gallant second in the Midlands Grand National last month. He returns to the handling of Frost here and he's still very fairly treated on past seasons form. Stamina is of no concern and he loves softer ground, so he's one for the place shortlist.
Final Nudge silk
Final Nudge
J: Gavin Sheehan T: David Dennis
Yet to win this season, not able to quicken late on in the Grand National back in January. He was well held at Cheltenham last time and the cheekpieces now go back on to try and spark him back to life. Given his recent performances, his stamina should give out over this distance.
Double Ross silk
Double Ross
J: Tom Bellamy T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Another of the older horses who pulled up in this race back in 2016, finishing fourth in the Kim Muir when last seen. He's always shaped like he'd relish a marathon test but that has never come to fruition. Given his run two years ago, he's hard to recommend.
Saint Are silk
Saint Are
J: A. P. Heskin T: Tom George
Has finished second and third off this mark in the 2015 and 2017 renewals of this race respectively. Those runs have come on better ground though and his only attempt in a softer ground National resulted in him pulling up. Without 'good' in the description, it's hard to see him getting involved.
Pleasant Company silk
Pleasant Company
J: D. J. Mullins T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Finished ninth in this race twelve months ago, making a shuddering mistake mid-race. He did weaken when asked that day though and stamina doubts have to be raised, making no impression in two races this campaign.
Blaklion silk
Blaklion
J: Sam Twiston-Davies T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Won the Becher Chase at this venue in impressive style two starts ago, but he didn't quite see the trip out in last year's race when finishing fourth. He returns this year off nine pounds higher and his massive weight is a worry. He looks vulnerable to a better treated, stronger stayer.
Tenor Nivernais silk
Tenor Nivernais
J: Tom O'Brien T: Venetia Williams
Finished seventeenth in this race twelve months ago, with only two horses behind him. He never left the rear that day and was floundering from a long way out. He remains doubtful stamina wise and is passed over.
Anibale Fly silk
Anibale Fly
J: Barry Geraghty T: A. J. Martin, Ireland
Won the Paddy Power at Leopardstown in December and he came home very strongly to finish third in the Gold Cup on his latest outing. He's due to go up nine pounds in the weights so he's well in, in that regard. That said, stamina is a big issue, especially off such a big weight.
The Last Samuri silk
The Last Samuri
J: David Bass T: Kim Bailey
Has a good record at this venue, including finishing second in the 2016 edition of this contest. He's now ten pounds higher though and he was well beaten off a comparable mark twelve months ago. Against some well handicapped horses, he does look extremely vulnerable off this weight.
Valseur Lido silk
Valseur Lido
J: Keith Donoghue T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Made a good return from a long absence back in December but three runs since have seen him go sharply backwards. He now steps up massively in distance which looks to be a big negative and given his profile, better ground would been much preferred.
Total Recall silk
Total Recall
J: P. Townend T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Won the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier this season, falling in the Gold Cup on his latest start when errors were the highlight of his performance. That's an obvious worry and he makes his Aintree debut with stamina another worry. He won't get away with a sloppy round of jumping today and there can be doubts.
Alpha Des Obeaux silk
Alpha Des Obeaux
J: Rachael Blackmore T: M. F. Morris, Ireland
Has been very in and out this season, going backwards since a 2m 4f Grade 2 victory at Clonmel in November. He's struggled over three miles on recent starts and he didn't stay over 3m 5f on a previous attempt. Looks unlikely to stay this trip out.
Perfect Candidate silk
Perfect Candidate
J: Alain Cawley T: Fergal O'Brien
Front-runner who has enjoyed his best form at Cheltenham, tailed off on both his starts since including at that venue. His headgear is removed for his second National tilt and given his very heavy defeat last season, he makes little appeal.
Shantou Flyer silk
Shantou Flyer
J: James Bowen T: Richard Hobson
Has finished second on his last four runs, keeping on gallantly over 3m 1f at the Festival last time. He's due to be four pounds higher in the future and he shapes as though he'll stay further, but he did pull up in this race twelve months ago when not staying the distance. Bit to prove in that regard.
Carlingford Lough silk
Carlingford Lough
J: Mark Walsh T: John E. Kiely, Ireland
2015 and 2016 Irish Gold Cup winner who is now a twelve year old, struggling in Grade 1 company this season. As a result though, his handicap mark has fallen dramatically and these fences do tend to revive horses in the doldrums. He loves softer ground and isn't one to dismiss.
The Dutchman silk
The Dutchman
J: Harry Cobden T: Colin Tizzard
Won the Peter Marsh at Haydock two starts ago in heavy ground, pulling up at the same venue over 3m 4f on his latest outing. He dropped out as though something was amiss but he still has to prove he's an out-and-out stayer. Others preferred for win purposes.
Delusionofgrandeur silk
Delusionofgrandeur
J: Henry Brooke T: Sue Smith
Front-runner who was third in the 3m 5f Durham National back in November, but he found four miles too much at Musselburgh when last seen. He's on a very stiff mark at present and he ran only two weeks ago. Hard to see him winning this.
Tiger Roll silk
Tiger Roll
J: Davy Russell T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Eight year old who won the Four Miler at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, last seen when winning the Cross Country at the Festival last month. Stamina is of no concern on that basis and today's fences should pose little problem. Russell takes the ride which is a big plus and he's a player.
Regal Encore silk
Regal Encore
J: Richie McLernon T: Anthony Honeyball
Finished eighth in this race twelve months ago, never able to put in a telling blow. He's a very inconsistent sort who is difficult to predict and he arrives to this year's renewal off a four pound higher mark. He's impossible to discount given he won last time, but he's riskier than most.
Vieux Lion Rouge silk
Vieux Lion Rouge
J: Tom Scudamore T: David Pipe
Hasn't got home on both his attempts of the race, fading into a well beaten sixth last year. He arrives this time off two pounds lower, but he's been very mixed this season and was a long way behind Regal Encore on his latest outing. Seems an unlikely winner with stamina an issue.
Chase The Spud silk
Chase The Spud
J: Paddy Brennan T: Fergal O'Brien
Loves a slog in the mud, as proven by his gutsy Haydock success three starts ago. He's pulled up in two marathon races since though and that has put a question mark on his current mark, which does look very stiff. Stamina isn't a problem but others look far better handicapped.
Warriors Tale silk
Warriors Tale
J: Sean Bowen T: Paul Nicholls
Arrives here on the back of two seconds at both Newbury and Doncaster, both at around three miles. He was staying on dourly on his latest start and was only headed at the line. He's on a career high mark for this assignment and he deserves his chance up in distance, but today's testing ground may just find him out.
Seeyouatmidnight silk
Seeyouatmidnight
J: Brian Hughes T: Sandy Thomson
Finished third in the Scottish Grand National of 2016 off this mark, despite being far too keen early on. He ran well on his return over an inadequate trip at Newbury last time which will have got him right for this race. He goes on any ground and has each way claims under Hughes.
Gas Line Boy silk
Gas Line Boy
J: Robert Dunne T: Ian Williams
Won the Grand Sefton over 2m 5f earlier this season and has run well since at Sandown, but he faded late on in this race twelve months ago after jumping the last with every chance. He needs to see it out better this year off four pounds higher, now aged twelve. Could reach the frame but vulnerable for win purposes.
Road To Riches silk
Road To Riches
J: Sean Flanagan T: Noel Meade, Ireland
Fell in this race back in 2016 and he's clearly not the force of old, well beaten in all his recent runs. He pulled up in the Grand National Trial on his latest outing and makes no appeal despite his sliding mark.

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21-04-2018 04:33:20am