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CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM should enjoy this tighter track to Cheltenham and has strong each-way claim.
Grand National day on ITV gets under way with this Grade 1 novice hurdle over 2m4f. My Drogo has done this column a favour this season but this might well be the big chance for BALLYADAM with Appreciate It not in the field. The former has been destroyed by the Willie Mullins gelding this term, but Ballyadam still remains a talent and this track and trip should be ideal for Henry de Bromahead and Rachael Blackmore’s contender. Strong claims.
Another Grade 1 here in the Maghull Novices’ Chase over 2m. This won’t take long! Arkle hero SHISHKIN is different league to this lot and bar an accident will hack up for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.
Now the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle over an extended 3m. PAISLEY PARK was under pressure a long way from home in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and in the end did well to plod on for third behind Flooring Porter. While this track is tighter I suspect in a big field they will go a stronger gallop and that will suit the Emma Lavelle runner. Aidan Coleman can deliver with a power packed finish.
This is a Grade 3 handicap chase over 3m1f. HAPPYGOLUCKY was very unlucky to come up against a rejuvenated Vintage Clouds at Cheltenham but still ran a cracker in defeat behind the winner in the Ultima. He’s up another 2lb here for Kim Bailey which won’t make it easy, but with David Bass throwing everything at him he must have a chance of going one better. His past record suggests the ground will be no issue.
The big one. The Grade 3 Grand National Handicap Chase over an extended 4m2f. So this is it people. Good luck. I’m going to take four against the field for you.
1. Kimberlite Candy. Lovely racing weight for Tom Lacey and Richie McLernon. Stays well and has form over the big fences, having finished a fine second over the fences in the 2019 Becher Chase. Should have strong eachway claims.
2. Cloth Cap. Ante-post favourite is chucked in at the weights and will love the ground. Did this column a favour when landing a big prize at Newbury and warmed up in style at Kelso. Has every chance for Jonjo O’Neill and Tom Scudamore who is trying to win his first National after many attempts. Hard to crab.
3. Burrows Saint. Could blitz this lot if returning to the form of his Irish National success in 2019. Not been quite as good of late now rated higher, but is trained by the champion of Ireland in Willie Mullins and gives Patrick Mullins a huge shout with Paul Townend sadly side-lined.
4. Vieux Lion Rouge. Has jumped more than 220 National fences and never fallen. Unlikely to win, but is a fabulous eachway bet with many places up for grabs at Paddy Power. Has been a fine servant for David Pipe.
BALCO COASTAL looked good on debut for Nicky Henderson at Kempton and must take some beating under Nico de Boinville in a tough finale. So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
13:45 – Champagne Platinum
14:25 – Ballyadam
15:00 – Shishkin
15:35 – Paisley Park
16:15 – Happygolucky
GRAND NATIONAL – Kimberlite Candy, Cloth Cap, Burrows Saint, Vieux Lion Rouge
18:20 – Balco Coastal
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