Total Recall – featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger – was one of the most expensive films made at the time of its release, but let’s hope that the horse of the same name isn’t a costly flop in the Grand National at 17:15.
The film is based on a Philip K. Dick novel, but you shouldn’t feel like one if you tell your friends and family that the Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall has a great chance.
He would have made the frame in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but for falling three out, and he still has more to offer for a trainer who won this race in 2015.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup form looks key, with the third Anibale Fly also looking well-in on his effort, however Mullins also runs Pleasant Company, who looks a live outsider at around 28/1. He won the Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase at Punchestown and the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse (by half a length from Thunder And Roses) last season, and while he has made little impact in both starts this campaign, a slog in the mud will suit.
Others of interest include Blaklion, who was fourth to One For Arthur in last year’s National, and the Cheltenham cross-country winner Tiger Roll. Seeyouatmidnight, meanwhile, will be bidding to give Scotland their biggest double since Archie Gemmill scored that goal against Holland in 1978.
Elsewhere on the card, it’s probably unlikely that L’Ami Serge will be quickly turned out after mastering Supasundae (as well as his own mental demons) in the Aintree Hurdle, so the Liverpool Hurdle at 16:20 looks a relatively straight-forward task for Sam Spinner.
He was sent off favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, but brought about his own downfall by setting an insufficient pace which didn’t play to his strengths.
With his jumping not so good as it had been at Ascot, Sam Spinner finished only fifth to Penhill, but if lessons have been learnt from that run, Sam Spinner, who had never previously finished out of the first two, has an excellent opportunity to resume his progress. Stayers’ Hurdle third Wholestone looks his biggest threat.
As every manager knows, learning to delegate (palm off all the hard work on someone else) is crucial, though it’s unlikely that Keith Dalgleish’s runner of the same name will have enough class to lay a glove on Petit Mouchoir in the Maghull Novices’ Chase at 15:00.
Diego du Charmil would have the best chance of finishing second on good going, but the ground is more tiring than spending half terms with the kids, so he looks one to take on. Shantou Rock could easily force too strong a pace, so take a chance on Kauto Riko to pick up the pieces for the forecast.
He has a bit to find on ratings but has done nothing but improve over fences on soft ground over the past few months and he can chase Petit Mouchoir home.
* All price correct time of posting.