Sharpshooter Value Bet – Aintree Grand National

While the Greatest Show On Earth on the Cotswolds in two weeks times casts a long but glorious shadow on everything right now, the recent publication of the Grand National weights is a refreshing reminder that there will be life after Cheltenham.

Trying to work out the Liverpool spectacular at this stage may seem a bit like picking Lotto numbers, but to my mind two horses simply leap off the page from the weights. To add real spice, both hail from leading yards - two of the best in these islands actually, Willie Mullins and Colin Tizzard - are well fancied by connections and are at very tasty ante post odds indeed.   

UP FOR REVIEW and ULTRAGOLD, one a second season novice who really could be anything, the other a seasoned pro who simply loves Aintree and the National fences, have both been given a golden opportunity by the handicapper.

When I saw them marked up at 10 - 2 and 10 - 3 respectively, I started humming the old Andy Williams hit You're Just Too Good To Be True.

And when I saw the generous prices chalked up for both that tune kept racing through my mind as I sprinted to the bookies!

Patrick Mullins says of Up For Review: "He is very interesting right at the bottom of the weights and is unexposed. He ran very well when third in the Thyestes Chase, is a second season novice and certainly one to keep an eye on" he explains.    

And if the son of Willie and Assistant Trainer is very sweet on his chances, then his equivalent in Dorset Joe Tizzard is equally enthusiastic:

"Ultragold has proved fantastic around the Aintree fences, having won the Topham the last two years. He is very interesting particularly off 10 - 3" he states.

Ultragold will most likely take the Tiger Roll route of racing in the Cross Country at Cheltenham first. Not sure I'll risk any of my hard earned (!) on him there as it will be all new to him, but back at the familiar surroundings of Liverpool he could make them all hop. Up For Review would certainly bring a sprinkling of class to the Ultima Handicap Chase on opening day at Cheltenham but if you fancy him for that wait until nearer the day as Willie has been known to change his mind re Cheltenham targets - and often very late in the day.  

But there is no doubt that both horses are being trained for Grand National glory, that is their main objective for the season, and at current odds they are both crying out to be backed.

Grand National - 


UP FOR REVIEW -  0.5 point each way 33/1  Betfred, William Hill, Bet Victor, Unibet, 888 Sport.

ULTRAGOLD - 0.5 point each way 40/1 William Hill, Bet 365, Betfred, Unibet.

Check odds at