Jack Milner of BetVictor.com with Grand National news and his views on Tuesday’s cards,
BetVictor confirmed they are Non Runner No Bet on the Randox Health Grand National from yesterday morning’s five-day entry stage. The firm have been betting ¼ odds each way 6 places on the great race from Friday 31/03/2017.
Former Becher Chase winner Highland Lodge (20 from 33s) and Lord Windermere (33s from 50s) have been the market movers over the weekend with the largely settled weather forecast this week considered a big boost for the latter a former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.
The likely good ground will be a positive for Charlie Longsdon’s Drop Out Joe, 66/1 from 100s with BetVictor on Monday morning, with the yard in excellent form over the weekend including a 1-2 in the Veterans’ Chase at Ascot on Sunday.
Aintree Top Festival Top Jockey prices from BetVictor
Barry Geraghty 4/6
Bryan Cooper 8/1
Sam Twiston-Davies 10/1
Nico de Boinville 10/1
Ruby Walsh 12/1
Richard Johnson 12/1
Daryl Jacob 14/1
Longsdon saddles Wilberdragon (3.40) on an excellent card this afternoon at Kempton, with the well-bred son of Kayf Tara fancied for the 3m Handicap Chase under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson. The selection has finished third on both starts since returning from a short break but will be suited by both the drying ground and the step up in trip.
Johnson is 12/1 with BetVictor to be leading rider at this week’s Aintree Festival and will no doubt have plenty vying for his services in the saddle. Daryl Jacob will have plenty of live chances riding for his boss Simon Munir, a 14/1 chance to be Aintree Festival Top Jockey, and should score aboard Laser Light (3.05) in the 2m 5f Novices’ Hurdle.
The Alan King- trained 6yo looked a potentially smart prospect when making a winning debut over timber in the autumn and has excuses for defeats at both Ascot and Southwell thereafter. He disappointed last time out at Leicester on bottomless ground but should be able to bounce back on his return to a sounder surface.
The sire Milan is represented by three daughters in the 3m Mares’ Handicap Hurdle but the trio of Thegirlfrommilan, Milan Express and Silent Steps are overlooked in favour of Jonjo O’Neill’s hat-trick seeking Timeforwest (4.10). The selection arrives on the back of comfortable wins at Market Rasen and Taunton, the latter when stepped up in trip to three miles, and is confident selection to defy a penalty under Aidan Coleman.
The opening 2m Novices’ Hurdle looks an open affair and I’m prepared to take a chance on Argyle (2.00) for the Moores. The gelded son of Lawman has ran twice over timber thus far, finishing down the field on his hurdles debut at Plumpton, before well-backed to do much better four weeks later, finishing third in ground much softer than ideal. He is another bred to appreciate this afternoon’s forecast better ground and should reward each-way support in the opener.
Nicky Henderson is represented by Bivouac and Laurium in the 3m Novices’ Chase, and I’d be inclined to side with the former if he was going the other way round, and preference therefore lies with Laurium (2.30) under stable jockey Nico de Boinville. The selection bolted-up in a 3m Novices’ Chase at Exeter earlier in the season and, after disappointed in competitive races at Cheltenham and Ascot, can get his head back in front dropped into calmer waters.
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