The day has finally arrived for the most anticipated National Hunt race of the year, the Crabbie’s Grand National. Run over a distance of 4mile 3 furlongs, it takes in some of the world most challenging jump racing obstacles for horse and rider. Favourites have historically performed well in the race, but not in the last three years, with Pineau De Re winning last year at 26.0. Saturday’s Aintree Festival is not just about the National though, and we’ve a feast of racing to come before the main event.
Whisper to Get Back to Winning Ways
The Liverpool Hurdle, currently known as the Silver Cross Stayers Hurdle runs over a distance of 3 miles. It is a classic race with crowd favourite Big Bucks winning four times and Barry Geraghty riding Whisper to victory last year.
Whisper will hope to get back to winning ways in the race and finish his national hunt season on a high after failing to impress at Cheltenham for trainer Nicky Henderson. As a previous winner, he has the stamina to see off challengers in the form of Zarkandar and Cole Harden.
Ridden by Nico De Boinville, Whisper is good value at 5.0
McCoy Looks For One Last Winner in the National
Champion jockey Tony McCoy heads into Saturdays race on board the favourite in an attempt to win the race one last time before retirement.
Eight-year-old Shutthefrontdoor has impressive form heading into the race having won his last two outings at Carlisle and Fairyhouse for trainer Jonjo O’Neill.
With AP McCoy in the saddle, Shutthefrontdoor is expected to run well and priced at 6.0 he is a worthy favourite. Favourite’s haven’t performed well in the last three years, but we expect McCoy to buck this trend in his final race.
Bet of the Day
Aintree 2:05 Sizing Granite
The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’s Chase is run over 2 miles and is the opening race over fences on the final day of Aintree Festival. Won last year by Balder Succes, it has also been won by one of racing’s most stunning chasers Sprinter Sacre.
Seven-year-old Sizing Granite has won his last two outings over courses in Ireland and shows all the positive attributes of a good chaser.
Ridden by Jonathan Burke on his first outing on English soil, Sizing Granite is good value at 8.0