Irish trained runners have dominated the last four nationals. I believe that trend will continue this evening so it's no surprise that both our selections are trained in the Emerald Isle.

The ground turned soft yesterday following persistent rain at Aintree. That hints that stamina will out today in the national. It's proven stayers you want to get on your side for sure.

Any Second Now is a horse close to our hearts having had him onside with winning the Kim Muir chase at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. The Ted Walsh trained and JP McManus owned horse is an 11yo now but remains in good form. I liked his first run of the season over hurdles when second to Saint Sam at Punchestown over an inadequate 2m3.5f. Any Second Now ran fine in the Irish Gold Cup and won the Grade 2 Webster Cup over 2m4.5f at Navan last month. Today, will be his third tilt at the Aintree Grand National. The UK handicapper has not been kind at all hitting him with a 7lb higher mark that when runner up last year. Any Second Now is a little unfortunate not to be heading to Aintree in search of a third national win like the great Red Rum.

He enjoyed horrible luck in the 2021 national getting stopped in his tracks from a good position by a faller. That interference came following a jumping mistake and knocked Any Second Now to the back of the field. He came through to jump the last upsides but ultimately ran out of fuel at the elbow, finishing a gallant third. It was a huge run and with better luck in running to eyes run that deserved a win. In the 2022 National it was not to be again with Any Second Now finishing runner up to Noble Yeats. In hindsight that was a career best from Any Second Now who carried 11-8 and gave 12lbs to Noble Yeats.We have seen how good a horse Noble Yeats is this season shooting up the ratings 20lbs to his current rating of 167! In the national last year Any Second Now lost out by 2.5l however there was a yawning gap of 20l back to the third placed Delta Work. Last years National winner was a bit of a freak with Noble Yeats becoming the first 7yo to win the national since 1940! Any Second Now proved last year he stays forever, likes the National course and can carry a big weight.

Galvin was the selection but not following all the rain this afternoon. Instead, we back proven mudlark and stayer Delta Work. He finished a well beaten third in this race last season when a few mistakes cost him position on the first circuit. What is different to help him win this year I hear you ask! Well, firstly he has had an extra week to recover from winning the Cross-Country race at Cheltenham compared to last season. Last year he endured a very hard race to beat Tiger Roll on heavy ground at Cheltenham. This year he won on soft ground with his ears pricked at the finish. Keith Donoghue is a top-class rider over fences and gets on mighty well with Delta Work. This mount runs off a pound lower mark this year but more importantly carries 5lbs less weight at 11-4. He’s not a big price but if jumping well should be bang there at the finish when others have cried enough.

Of the rest, I can see Galvin running well as he is a proven stayer. Corach Rambler is well in on ratings following his second Cheltenham Festival success in the Ultima handicap chase. Noble Yeats is much higher in the weights but looks a dour stayer with the rain softened ground a positive. The Big Breakaway and The Big Dog finished second and third respectively in the Welsh National. They should go well if starting well and getting into a nice jumping Rhythm. Longhouse Poet has to prove he stays but is a fantastic jumper.

I cannot see Ain't That A Shame or Lifetime Ambition staying this trip so avoid those two. It's a race to truly enjoy and best of luck in your sweepstake as this is the race that ignites the horse racing flame in the next generation of horse racing fans.

Aintree 5:15

0.5 point each way Any Second Now 16/1 Betfred & William Hill, both 6 places.

0.5 point each way Delta Work 10/1 Betfred else 9/1 generally, all 6 places.

Best of Luck, Nicky