Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to the best horse race in the world. The race that is seen all over the world, the race that everyone stops to see. Today a piece of history will be made and every year at this great race there is always an incredible story.
Dr Richard Newlands, the trainer of last years winner – with only 21 horses in training, the aborted National, those famous words of Mick Fitzgerald, who said when he was the winning jockey, “this is better than sex” and today I expect the biggest headline yet but I will reveal all later.
We will try to find you 2 or 3 in each race that should give a decent run for your money and allow you to get a good shout in, because that’s the best part of racing. So here we go: –
The first race is due off at 1.30 it’s the aptly named, “World Famous Just Eat Mersey, Novices Hurdle over 2mile 4 furlongs.
As they all race of the same mark in this race I am looking for the highest rated horses and an unexposed horse with loads of potential and I have got that down to 4 horses. Parlour Games and Nichols Canyon are the two best on form and will be in contention, the two unexposed horses for me are Three Musketeers, who if he can handle the big field will compete and Days of Heaven who looks a typical Nicky Henderson recruit.
Doom Bar Maghull Novices Chase over 2 miles
Not quite so difficult this one. Gods Own is the favourite and rightly so as he has beaten Novices and Grade 1 horses. Traffic Fluide was an easy 10 lengths winner and may be an improver and from Ireland, Henry De Bromhead knows a thing or two about 2 mile chasers and his charge Sizing Granite looks to be a class act.
I don’t think they can beat Gods Own if he is at his best but those three will fight this one out.
Silver Cross Stayers Hurdle
Cole Harden was far too good for some of these when they met at Cheltenham and if he is in the same mood they won’t beat him today. Everyone knows that so there is no point fighting it. However they are not machines and 3 miles hurdling takes something out of a horse so let’s looks at a couple of alternatives. I still don’t think we have seen the best of Un Temps Pour Tout, who wears blinkers for the first time today and he has loads of talent. I also think that Blue Fashion wasn’t suited by Cheltenham and there is more in the tank there but my big priced shock winner might well be Crack Away Jack. Two years ago he was top class and after getting injured and off for a long time came back with an encouraging third having travelled really well. He could be spot on today and if the favourite doesn’t win maybe he could be the one at a big price each way.
Betfred Handicap Chase
This is not a very inspiring race and I won’t take too long on this, suffice to say you couldn’t predict any horse with any confidence as they aren’t a great lot. If I had to have a bet I might back Edgardo Sol as he could be back in form and he did at least compete well in the past at this level.
The Crabbies Grand National
I could talk for ages about this incredible race. However you don’t just need to go through all 40 horses, which I have done, you don’t just need to know if they are capable of winning, you also need a lot of luck just to get around the course. So these are my four against the field. I suggest you have a small each way on all four and then you might get that great feeling of cheering yours on as they pass the Melling road and head to the line. It is simply great. My four are : –
1 unit e/w First Lieutenant @ 20/1 with Skybet who is 17lbs below his best mark in this race and is being ridden by Nina Carberry and I fully expect Nina to be crowned the first Female Jockey to win the Grand National – and how fitting would that be seeing Judy and Nina standing with the Cup. History made today as I suggested earlier
My second horse is
1 unit e/w Soll @ 20/1 with Boylesports for David Pipe. He needs a stamina test and he was a little unlucky last year when going well over these fences to be brought down.
My third horse is
1 unit e/w Rocky Creek @ 10/1 with Boylesports who was so impressive at Kempton and on his day could be well capable of winning this race. He looks primed for this
And my final horse is
1 unit e/w Balthazar King @ 12/1 with Boylesports – he won the Cross Country Race – fresh, last year and then came here and nearly won the national. This year his trainer Phillip Hobbs has kept him fresh for this race.
It looks like being a fabulous race.
One Stop Energy Handicap Hurdle for Conditional and Amateur Jockeys
Always tough to bring the card back up after the National but this race is so important to our up and coming jockeys and they are all so good these days.
I fancy three in this race
One for the Guvernor 1 unit e/w @ 4/1 with Sportingbet – For Nicky Henderson, who is an improver and I think was laid out for this race.
Cinders and Ashes 1 unit e/w @ 16/1 with Sportingbet whose comeback run was full of promise after a long layoff with injury and when at his best competed in the Champion Hurdle
And I have a soft spot for Ruler of All @ 40/1 with Sportingbet who comes from a small stable with only 9 horses, is trained by the Dad and ridden by the Son. He won so well at Bangor recently and is carrying a very light weight and who knows he might be good enough.
5.40 The Pinsent Motors Mares Bumper
The toughest race of all to wind up the meeting. No fences or flights to jump just young girl horses who are all unexposed. As a stab in the dark my two against the field would be
Well that’s my predictions for the card. I hope you have the most wonderful day and that you all back loads of winners.