A good day last Saturday with Win My Wings winning the Scottish Grand National and our other selection Major Dundee placing third.
We tackle the 40 runner Aintree Grand National this Saturday and what a race this is to enjoy with the whole family. Sweepstakes galore will be taking place all over the world building great memories for those lucky enough to land on the winner.
We have two strong stayers to go to war with in this fantastic jumping spectacle. A joy to behold chasers jumping the big fences with the first three fences crucial to grabing a good position and getting into a nice rhythm.
Emma Lavelle is very good with chasers and has got Éclair Surf jumping fences well. He arrives at Aintree bang in form following two excellent runs over marathon trips. In January he destroyed a decent field in the Classic Chase winning by 13 lengths. He likes to race prominently which is a positive in the Grand National. The runner up in the Classic Chase was the David Pipe trained Gericault Roque who boosted the form at the Cheltenham Festival finishing runner up in the Ultima handicap chase. The handicapper raised Éclair Surf 10lbs to a mark of 143 and that has done the job as he has squeezed into the national at the foot of the weights. Last time out he finished runner up to the mare Win My Wings in the Eider Chase. That was a cracking effort in hindsight carrying 11-11 over 4m1.5f giving 11lbs to the impressive winner. We saw how good Win My Wings was winning the Scottish Grand National and she is 22lbs higher than when beating Éclair Surf today. Tom Bellamy has plenty experience riding over the national fences and should enjoy a good spin on the front end today.
Gordon Elliott has targeted the national with Escaria Ten all season. He has only had the two runs this season so arrives at Aintree a fresh horse. He ran better than his finishing position of 8th in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January. Escaria Ten was squeezed out coming to the first fence and made a very bad mistake with jockey Adrian Heskin doing well to keep the partnership. That mistake left him out the back and it was to the horse’s credit that he came through looking a big threat turning for home and jumped the second last fence alongside the winner and runner up. Understandably, Escaria Ten blew up on his first run of the season and jumped the last fence a tired horse. Gordon waiting until the national weights were announced and then ran Escaria Ten in the Bobbjo Chase at Fairyhouse. He ran a tidy race just losing out to Any Second Now by a nose having been in front for a long time. The UK handicapper has him rated only a pound higher than his Irish mark which looks good. As a novice Escaria Ten ran in the National Hunt chase at the Cheltenham Festival where third behind Galvin and Next Destination. That is proper Grade 1 form, and he must have a big chance today carrying 11-1 and not fully exposed following an easy second season so far.
The others in the reckoning were Fiddlerontheroof & Any Second Now. The Tizzard yard of the former is rather quiet and out of form while Any Second Now is higher in the weights this year and too short at 10/1 in a race where lots of luck in running is required.
Aintree – 5:15
0.5 point each way Éclair Surf 14/1 Boylesports paying 7 places & BOG.
0.5 point each way Escaria Ten 20/1 William Hill paying 6 places.
Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/aintree/17:15/winner