3 Aintree Favs We Don’t Think Will Win

Tiger Roll winning the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham 2018

Grand National trends would suggest that the big race isn’t exactly one for favourite backers. In fact, there hasn’t been an outright favourite win the famous race since Hedgehunter in 2007.

It’s a trend that can often be applied to the entire Grand National meeting at Aintree with many recent Cheltenham winners turned over at short prices, while longshots file through to take the glory.

That is something worth bearing in mind this week, which is why we’ve highlighted three favourites that could be walking alone in Liverpool.

Tiger Roll – Grand National

Horses that win the Grand National do well to ever win again, never mind come back and win the race for a second time.

Even some of the highly rated recent winners like Don’t Push It, Ballabriggs and Neptune Collonges either never won again or never raced again. The one exception to that trend was Many Clouds, who won at Aintree and Cheltenham before the sudden end to his career.

The last to do it was Red Rum in the 1970’s, a horse which Tiger Roll aims to follow in the hoofprints of this weekend. The stats don’t favour it though and especially not as such as short-priced favourite, and especially not at the weights.

Tiger Roll only just got the better of a photo finish against Pleasant Company in the National last year, but now carries 6lb more than last year following the removal of top weight Bristol De Mai.

Although it’s not an impossible task, that makes it very tough, and backing Tiger Roll at 7/2 to not only jump 30 fences but to also get a clear round, looks worth taking on to us. We’ll do that with Pairofbrowneyes who is effectively 10lbs better off in the National after winning the Leinster National last time out at Naas. He’s stayed on strongly that day, and although he’s not been tested at this kind of trip before, he’d be worth a chance at an each-way price.

Buveur D’Air – Aintree Hurdle

If the Buveur D’Air doubters have had to be silenced in the past by his Champion Hurdle victories at Cheltenham, then this season has allowed them to really voice their disapproval from the rooftops.

The Nicky Henderson star has been far from his vintage best and a fall at the third fence in this year’s Champion Hurdle summed up what has been an iffy season for the 8yo.

After easing past Samcro in the Fighting Fifth, he was shocked by stablemate Verdana Blue at Kempton, and then only did enough to see off Vision Des Flos at Sandown.

Now here at Aintree, he takes on a really classy field with plenty of Irish raiders including Melon, Faugheen and Supasundae. Stepping up to 2m 4f, might not see him return to winning ways, and although he won this race in 2017, he certainly didn’t face the quality of opponent he could face this week and we certainly won’t be backing him at the current prices.

Supasundae could be the one to upset the apple cart. He was second in this race last year and could be suited by the return to this distance after running out of steam in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Champ – Sefton Novices’ Hurdle

Only two of the last 12 favourites have won the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, which doesn’t exactly boost your hopes if you were thinking of backing Champ.

Named after the great Sir AP McCoy, the JP McManus-owned novice was a hot favourite for the Ballymore at Cheltenham, but was no match for City Island who won in commanding fashion.

That was a dent in his lofty reputation, but when you actually dig back through the form, perhaps it wasn’t a surprise after all.

In the Challow, he only just got the better of Getaway Trump, who has since avoided a trip to the Festival, instead finishing 4th in the Betfair Hurdle and then disappointing when 4th at Kelso last time.

Kateson was also back in 3rd that day, a horse that most recently finished 22 lengths behind Linsnagar Oscar. In a nutshell, it would seem in hindsight that Champ wasn’t beating anything special.

He could face something a bit more like that at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, however, where Gordon Elliott’s Dallas Des Pictons is a likely rival.

He was also 2nd to City Island earlier in the season, and finished runner-up to Early Doors in the Martin Pipe. As well as picking up two victories at Punchestown and Leopardstown in between those placed efforts, one of which came at 3 miles.  That could be of huge benefit on Friday, given Champ is yet to go beyond 2m5f.

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