Aintree tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 7 selections for Grand National day

Mick Fitzgerald is on hand to guide you through the action on ITV Racing for Grand National day at Aintree on Saturday.

Mick Fitzgerald Aintree Brand

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

It’s time for the Grand National and for one of the riders this is a day that will change their life forever… the only thing to remember is if you back a winner in an earlier race it pays out the same!


13:45 Ballybegg

I was really tempted to put up Polish here for the Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan combination as he has been saved for this. However, I am going for Ballybegg. This lad has snuck in down the bottom of the weights after two wins at Wetherby and Hereford. He is a progressive young horse, he was going to run in the Grade 1, the next race on the card, if he didn’t get in to this race.

14:25 My Drogo

Ballyadam will love the ground but had a hard enough race at Cheltenham and Dreal Deal is a very progressive young horse who may not have stopped improving. The same can be said for the Dan Skelton trained My Drogo. He won very nicely at Ascot and at Kelso and Skelton’s yard will have the wind in their sails after a good day on Thursday.

15:00 Shishkin

Shishkin will win and cement himself as one of the best around. Funambule Sivola should be second.

15:35 Paisley Park

It didn’t really pan out at Cheltenham for Paisley Park when only third in the Stayers’. Even though conditions are probably quicker than ideal, he will cope with them just fine. This long straight will help him, though.

If it didn’t go right far Paisley Park at Cheltenham it certainly didn’t go right far Roksana. She had to commit earlier than was ideal and it just did not suit her at all – she is better than that. Diol Ker is the interesting one as he beat Monkfish as a novice hurdler and support for him should be noted.

Thyme Hill is back and this track should really suit him – the worry is the field size. I am sure he is better in a small field so Paisley Park gets the vote.



Fans at Aintree for the Grand National

16:15 Spiritofthegames

I am convinced there is a big prize in Spiritofthegames. He has been slipping down the weights for a long time. Lalor is the other one I like but it is hard to tip a horse around here who has not run for 440 days. However, he is super talented and is lower now than when last seen and that was a hell of a run at Cheltenham. Lalor is maybe worth a little interest each way bet along with Spiritofthegames.

GRAND NATIONAL 17:15 Any Second Now

I have gone for Any Second Now at the top of my list as he has a very similar profile to the Ted Walsh trained winner Papillion. He is nine years old, he has a speed to win and he’s been campaigned with this race in mind for the last 2 years.

Cloth Cap has a great chance and the drying ground is a plus for his prospects. He could be thrown in at the weights. Farclas has run in some big races and looks like the trip will help him. Potters Corner has already won a Welsh National and Burrows Saint has won an Irish National. There is a recurring theme and that is stamina. If I have a doubt with Any Second Now that would be it, but I still think he is the one.

18:20 Balco Coastal

We end what has been a memorable Aintree with a competitive Grade 2 National Hunt race. Nicky Henderson has a couple of runners in this and Balco Coastal is highly thought of by connections and bolted up at Kempton on his last start.

Mick’s National Day Tips

13:45 Ballybegg
14:25 My Drogo
15:00 Shishkin
15:35 Paisley Park
16:15 Spiritofthegames
17:15 GRAND NATIONAL Any Second Now
18:20 Balco Coastal

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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What do you think?