The Grand National is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse racing events on the planet. Every year, 40 of the best thoroughbreds in the business go up against each other over this imposing four-mile circuit and the 2017 edition could be the best yet. In years gone by, the National has been easy to call but competition for places is so high now; there are no real outsiders in the race.
Once again, Aintree racecourse will play host to this thrilling event and racing fans, such as those taking part in the Tipster Challenge, will be cheering their picks on over this incredible 30-fence circuit. Here are three of our leading fancies to be first past the post at Aintree on Grand National Day…
VIEUX LION ROUGE
The current ante post favourite is VIEUX LION ROUGE and with good reason. The David Pipe-trained star has been sublime in recent months, beating 21 rivals to emerge victorious over the National fences in the Becher Chase in December before following that win up with an impressive effort at Haydock last month.
He loves soft ground but has shown that he can do it on firmly turf and it shouldn’t matter too much, especially with star jockey Tom Scudamore on board. His seventh in this race last year should send lightbulbs flashing for punters; Vieux Lion Rouge will be up there once again if he gets a good trip round. Write him off at your peril…
Nigel Twiston-Davies has a diamond on his hands here and plenty of punters in the Tipster Challenge will be backing BLAKLION for glory in the National. He has gone from strength to strength since winning at Cheltenham in December 2015, finishing fifth in the Welsh edition at Chepstow behind Gold Cup third Native River; the form looks solid to say the least.
He was beaten by Vieux Lion Rouge at Haydock in an Aintree trial event last month but it would be foolish to rule Blaklion out on that form. He was a long way clear of third place and Noel Fehily will be quietly confident of a decent finish. The 8-year-old will stay the trip and avoiding conflict could be his main task come National day on April 8th.
MORE OF THAT
On his day, MORE OF THAT is a phenomenal talent; he might even be the classiest horse in the race in terms of previous achievements. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill insists that he is the best racehorse that he has ever trained and that is praise indeed from somebody who has been in the industry since the mid-1980s.
The 9-year-old hasn’t been anywhere near his best since the end of 2015 but he may hit top form at Aintree. If Barry Geraghty has fully recovered from his broken ribs, he may get the ride and that will only help his chances of glory. Jockey bookings don’t tell us too much in the National at times but getting somebody like Geraghty is a positive sign…
For even more grand national tips check out myracing