Tips from the trading floor: Our top picks for Friday at Aintree

Our internal racing boffins can’t wait for Day Two of the Merseyside festival and we’ve twisted their arms to give us their picks for the day’s action.

13:45 – Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle

We have five places on offer here in a typically tricky 22-runner handicap. Two we are keen on in this one are Tedham, who has Jonjo O’Neill on board, and Esprit Du Large. The price appeals with Esprit Du Large as well.

14:20 – Top Novices’ Hurdle

The first Grade One of the day has an open feel to it with cases to be made against many of the main protagonists. Felix Desjy looks fairly solid after shaping like the second-best horse in the Supreme at Cheltenham and looks the safest option. Itchy Feet was ahead of Felix Desjy that day but bled, and also won’t appreciate the rain that has been falling on Merseyside throughout the day.

All the latest Grand National betting a jump away at

14:50 – Mildmay Novices’ Chase

Topofthegame won what looked a vintage renewal of the RSA Chase last month and rates a solid odds-on shot here, however Lostintranslation also brings very solid form to the table and doesn’t look to have masses to find with the favourite.

15:25 – Melling Chase

A cracking race in prospect despite the defection of superstar Altior. We like Ruth Jefferson’s Waiting Patiently, who lived up to his name and skipped Cheltenham in favour of tomorrow’s contest.

16:05 – Topham Handicap Chase

30 horses take their chance over the National fences in the Topham Handicap Chase and we are going a whopping six places in this one. We have two we fancy. Firstly, we have top weight Janika – who has had rock-solid handicap form and has often looked like a graded animal. We also like Call It Magic, who was a big eye-catcher in the Becher Chase when he previously tried the iconic obstacles.

16:40 – Sefton Novices’ Hurdle

We have four places on offer here and we are pretty keen on Nicky Henderson’s Champ. He is up in trip, which is a slight concern for the free-going sort. However, he was second in the Ballymore Hurdle last month, that looks form out of the top drawer and he ought to be too strong here.

17:15 – Weatherbys Racing Bank Bumper

Not a lot of form to go on in the closing Bumper, but McFabulous for Paul Nicholls looked potentially smart when routing a decent field at Newbury out last time, so we’re going with him.

All the latest Grand National betting is a jump away at