Grand National Meeting | Day 1

This meeting is all a bit ‘after The Lord Mayors Show’ for me. We have some great graded races, but the majority of horses have been aimed at The Cheltenham Festival, with this as an after thought. Also the majority of people who will be having a bet on Aintree this week, don’t even realise the meeting starts today.

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TOP NOTCH finished second to Yorkhill in The JLT last month and that is the best form on offer in this race. Cloudy Dream comes into this on a second place finish behind Altior in the Arkle, however he was fortunate to place there as Charbel fell.

Top Notch should be odds-on for this race in my opinion, so he rates a bet at 2.20.

BACK TOP NOTCH at 2.20 (General)

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This is the perfect race for an each-way bet. Eight runners with and odds-on favourite makes it impossible for the place side of the bet not to be value.

The above graph chart shows that even with Bet365 having a 112% over-round on their win book, they are nowhere near the 300% they need to be to break even on the place side of the market.

We get the very impressive Triumph winner Defi Du Seuil up against the front two from the Fred Winter. However my preference is for a horse that missed The Festival all together. FORTH BRIDGE was last seen at Musselburgh in February where he ran out a winner of their Triumph Hurdle Trial. He battled well that day and coming here fresh I believe he can beat at least one of the three market leaders home.

This bet is about the value we are getting place side of the market and as long as we don’t get any non-runners we’ve had a  good bet, espcially with Bet365 going 1/4 odds and 4 places.

BACK FORTH BRIDGE each-way at 15.0 (Bet365)

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I could pretty much copy and paste what I wrote before The Gold Cup for this race. BRISTOL DE MAI is again overpriced. If Cue Card hadn’t of fallen, again, I think those two would have finished close up. However if Bristol De Mai hadn’t clouted the last he would’ve finished further up the field than the seventh he did.

The fly in the ointment is Empire of Dirt, on a line through his Irish Gold Cup second to Sizing John, he has the beating of these. However he ran very flat in The Ryanair last month, granted he was staying on towards the end but I don’t want to be backing him for this on the back of that performance.

Personally I’d go at least 3.00 the field here, I think that Bristol De Mai should be nearer the 4.00 mark. Back on a flat track and after an encouraging run at Cheltenham he’s the bet for me.

BACK BRISTOL DE MAI at 7.00 (General)

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