grand national c david daviespa wire 300x168 photoThe Aintree Grand National remains the most popular betting race of the calendar year and a maximum field of 40 will line up for Saturday’s renewal. The going looks set to be good, good to soft in places, which should suit the majority of runners.


After the 50-1 winner of the Irish National on Easter Monday, punters may be fearing the worst, but I am expecting last year’s form to be key to finding the winner. Sunnyhillboy was pipped on the post by Neptune Collonges with Seabass finishing third and Cappa Bleu fourth. The winner was immediately retired but all three placed horses are back for another try, although they have more weight to carry this year. The horse that has not been penalised for last year is On His Own who was travelling smoothly on the heels of the leaders when falling at Bechers brook on the second circuit.


Ruby Walsh (successful on Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter in 2005) is expected to take the ride this year and he is currently a best priced 15-2 with Paddy Power. Ideally I would like to see a bit more rain but, given luck in running, I think he can beat the placed horses from last year. Top weight will be carried by 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander and it would not surprise me to see him run very well.


If you are looking for some each-way value you could do a lot worse than side with Aintree specialist Always Waining at 40-1. He has won the Topham Chase over the National fences for the last three years and will finally run in the big race providing the ground remains good. Another who will appreciate the faster surface is Balthazar King (22-1).


Tipster’s Best Bets

1. On His Own 15-2 @ PaddyPower 

2. Imperial Commander 16-1 @ Betfair

3. Always Waining 40-1 @ PaddyPower 

4. Balthazar King 22-1 @ LadBrokes