Grand National Thursday 2018 – preview and tips

Thank you to Community Member Geoff Handley for his thoughts on today’s card at Liverpool. Buy tickets for today, Ladies Day and Grand National Day 
1.45 Aintree : 20f
Brain Power ran a cracker in the Arkle at Cheltenham Festival 2018 but has raced mainly over 2m (16f ) & could be vulnerable stepping up in trip. Finian’s Oscar has never impressed me with his jumping, finished 5th at Cheltenham; ran ok but not really seeing things out. Modus is another who didn’t jump well last time at Cheltenham and could be difficult to place now. Cyrname has run well over this distance, an exuberant type and likely to set the pace here and make it a true test for Brain Power. He has scope as a chaser but seems to be better going right handed, will go close if he copes OK left handed. The big danger could be Rene’s Girl from Skelton’s yard. The mare receives an allowance, bids for a hat-trick, jumps well and looks good ew value. The outsider is the Irish challenger Calino D’Airy who ran OK at Leopardstown last time. He travelled well but found nothing at the finish but is another who has yet to run over 20f.
2.20 Aintree : 16f
Don’t underestimate Nube Negro for Skelton’s yard, 10/1 tomorrow. I backed it at Cheltenham and he ran a grand race to be third, travelling strongly throughout but steps up in class here though. The one I fancy is We Have A Dream from Nicky Henderson’s Lambourn yard, unbeaten in all 4 UK starts, impressive each time, he missed Cheltenham. Stable mate Apple’s Shakira cost punters a fortune in the Triumph where I got the impression she needs a stiffer test. This 16f Aintree course might be too much a test of speed and I’m surprised she hasn’t been stepped up to 20f. Malaya also gets the female allowance and is a good sort but I don’t think she is as good as Henderson’s duo. Paddleyourowncanoe probably needs further. There’s a rare French raider in the shape of Beau Gosse, but he was behind Malaya last time I can’t see him reversing the form. Et Moi Alors was turned over at 1/2 fav last time, disappointing and running in snatches. Gumball pulled up in the Triumph at Cheltenham but keep an eye on the Hobbs yard this week as he’s coming into some form. Irish raider Les Arceaux has some fairly useful form but disappointed last time. Another Irish raider Cristal Icon won well last time but takes a huge step up in class and she is one to watch in future handicaps.
2.50 Aintree : 25f
No bet for me here. Might Bite ran a grand race to be second in the Gold Cup but had a hard race and Gold Cup runners don’t have the best of records in this race but he take some beating if none the worse from his exertions and is a grand sort. Definitly Red also ran in the Gold Cup but was slightly outclassed but some interesting facts about this one. His chasing record in fields of 10 or less: 1221311311. In fields greater than this number it reads:- FUP6. 8 runners line up in this.
3.25 Aintree : 20f
Supasundae will be all the rage here after his good second in the Stayers at Cheltenham. He runs here tomorrow instead of the 3m on Saturday now the Champion Hurdler is absent and looks the one to beat. No doubt the ew thieves will be on My Tent Or Yours but he is probably best at 2m. Old rival The New One was 12th in the Stayers and could well fight out a place. Cyurus Darius reverted back to hurdling and won well at Kelso but surely won’t win at this level. L’Ami Serge should run well with the emphasis back more on speed after an eighth in the Stayers and is a danger to Supasudae.
Aintree : 4.05 21f
Grand Vision is the one for me in the Foxhunter’s, but he’s not much of a price I’m afraid. I backed him at Cheltenham when he was travelling so well but didn’t he quite get home. A grand looking grey who should run well and top amateur Jamie Codd is booked to ride. Wells De Lune was too free over this much longer trip in the Cheltenham Foxhunters and wasa spent force some way out. His running style is likely to prove better suited to this race. An ex-Charlie Longsdon horse, I’ve seen him schooling a few times and he always looked well. His current trainer won the race last year and is ew value at 14/1. For the first time ever I had the winners of both Foxhunters last year at 20/1 and 16/1 but sadly didn’t back Pacha Du Polder this year!
Aintree 4.40 : 16f
The Red Rum Handicap and always a good race but very competitive. I’m focusing on three here. All of a sudden David Pipe has hit some form after a poor season where he’s had just 30 winners from 341 runners. I made a note of King’s Socks at Cheltenham, who finished 5th over 20f. He was travelling strongly but had no extra close home and I think he’ll be better over today’s trip. Also in the notebook went Thienval. He was 4th in the equivalent race at Cheltenham when he probably needed better ground. Runner up in this race last year and has 3lb lower this year so will surely go close. I attended the Cheltenham preview evening at Aintree and Charlie Longsdon was very keen on Bentelimar. He didn’t get in at Cheltenham but ran the following Saturday at Kempton where he was slightly disappointing but I got the impression that the run was needed and could be ew value at 20/1, but will need a good effort to beat the above two.
Aintree 5.15 17f
The concluding mares bumper where the Irish fav Getaway Katie Mai will be hard to beat with Jamie Codd on board but not much of a price and I will be looking at others ew. Dissavril went into the notebook after she won at Market Rasen. Ex-French, she looks very pacy. At 12/1 is Dunhallow Gesture who is trained by Anthony Honeyball; an excellent trainer of bumpers. She won on her only outing for Damien Murphy and having been sold for £100,000 since, showed improved form to follow up for new connections after 8 months off. Disputed lead, travelled well, went on end of back straight, ridden early in straight, hung left around 1f out, kept on. Like I said before Philip Hobbs is hitting form so watch out for Cedar Valley who won her only race at Taunton, forging clear. Bred to stay further, she will be running on at the end. Note that a four year old won this last year.
Good luck everybody!