The ground at Aintree is testing now, there is no doubt about that. It was a damp day here on Friday, but it’s supposed to be nicer on Saturday so it might dry out a bit.
I will be cheering for Baie Des Iles because my sister Katy is on board. I’d definitely give her a chance, even if there’s no value in Baie Des Iles anymore.
Carlingford Lough is still a class horse as far as I’m concerned. He might be down the market, but I think he’ll run a big race. Seeyouatmidnight looks a challenger too.
However, the strongest form here without question is with Anibale Fly and Total Recall – there the two big ones and that’s why there at the head of the betting. They’re the two best horses in the race. I fully expect both to be involved in the finish of the National.
I reckon On The Blind Side is the one to side with in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at 2.25pm. He’s probably the freshest coming into this one as he missed Cheltenham.
The other challenger, Black Op was a good second to Samcro in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival but has that left a mark?
However, I’ve been a big fan of On The Blind Side throughout the year. He’ll put it right up to the field here and even beat them.
Petit Mouchoir got very worked up in Cheltenham and then took on Saint Calvados at a ferocious gallop before Footpad collared him and won going away.
I reckon he’ll get things a little bit easier on Saturday. On Aintree’s flat, level track, the way he attacks these fences and the way he goes about his job in general, will make him very hard to beat.
For me, he’s the best bet of the entire day.
I strongly fancy Sam Spinner in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle.
The Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham wasn’t run at a strong enough gallop for him and there’s a bit more pace in this one.
Stamina will also come into play more and Sam Spinner can make amends.