Grand National: Best bets, each-way plays and more for this year's Aintree spectacle

Tiger Roll at Aintree
Can Tiger Roll (right) double up?
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The three amigos of the Bets of the Day pick out their best bets and long-shots for Grand National and chuck in one for the rest of the meeting for good measure

"Rathvinden was last seen winning the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, and he looked the ideal sort of horse for Aintree with the way he travelled. He jumped pretty tidily, too, and won easily. The Bobbyjo is one of the traditional trials, and Rathvinden's trainer Willie Mullins (pictured below) took that race en route to winning the National with Hedgehunter in 2005."

Alan Dudman - Mullins to taste National glory again

Grand National Best Bet: Back Rathvinden @ 9/1 on the Sportsbook (Aintree, Saturday, 17:15)

Sightings of Rathvinden have been almost as rare as Presenting Percy, but one thing we know with Rathvinden is that we have a fresh horse to back. He is at the top of the market, but he deserves to be as he could be well-handicapped from a mark of 154.

It says something about the class of the race these days at Aintree, that a horse as good as this lines up, and from a nice racing weight too. Last term he was running in Grade 1 novice company and wasn't beaten far in the Drinmore behind Death Duty.

That's exactly the sort of profile for these big handicaps these days - something with graded form. We see it so often at Cheltenham.

Rathvinden was last seen winning the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, and he looked the ideal sort of horse for Aintree with the way he travelled. He jumped pretty tidily, too, and won easily. The Bobbyjo is one of the traditional trials, and Rathvinden's trainer Willie Mullins (pictured below) took that race en route to winning the National with Hedgehunter in 2005.

We know he stays as a National Hunt Chase winner too, and with ground not an issue, he has plenty going for him.

Willie Mullins smile 2 1280.jpg

Grand National Outsider Bet: Back Jury Duty @ [26.0] on the Exchange

Jury Duty is already a Grand National winner - albeit the Grand National Hurdle Stakes in the USA. He picked up a cool £200,000 for his efforts at Far Hills, and he can add to his winnings by running well at Aintree.

Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old is another who was a quality novice. He competed in Grade 1 company and was good enough to beat Shattered Love. And as a lightly-raced horse with just 11 runs over fences, I like his profile with his mark of 151 and weight under 11st.

While connections must have been delighted with the payday in America, they must have been doubly pleased with his comeback spin at Down Royal when he thrashed Mala Beach by six lengths. He looked classy there.

I remember backing the horse in the Kerry National last September when he was a little unlucky. I am not sure he would have won but he came from a long way back and a late error four out hampered any realistic chances of scoring. He ran a decent race in the Galway Plate too and he does stay on.

He was a bit bigger earlier in the week, but he makes a fair bit of appeal at [26.0] too.

Best Bet from the Grand National Meeting: Back Janika @ 10/1 in the Topham Chase (Friday 16:05)

You might be familiar with my affections for Janika. He has featured in my Bets Of The Day before (finishing second and matched at [1.15]), and he also appeared as a guest in my Cheltenham bets. Again he finished second to Siruh Du Lac and was matched at [2.22].

I have no intention of laying him, even though he's gone short in the run with all three starts in the UK since his switch from France. His run off a big weight at the Festival was slightly frustrating again as he travelled so well throughout the contest, even if he he didn't get the smoothest of passages. I probably underrated Siruh Du Lac a bit as he outstayed Janika up the hill.

However, I am looking forward to the sight of seeing him whizz around a nice flat track like Aintree. This sort of test cold be ideal. I wonder if his trainer Nicky Henderson might opt for more positive tactics?

Following Cheltenham, he has gone up in the weights to 162, and that tells us he is graded-class anyway. I am keeping the faith and gets my vote at 10/1.

Nick Shiambouros - Anibale to Fly home

Grand National Best Bet: Anibale Fly @ [17.0] (Aintree, Saturday, 17:15)

Anibale Fly should make his presence felt in this historic race. This nine-year-old ran a blinder in the Gold Cup last month when finishing second to Al Boum Photo. He put in some good work in the closing stages, and finished the race with good energy.

Last year he finished third in the Gold Cup before finishing fourth to Tiger Roll in the National and trainer Tony Martin has given him a similar preparation, and meets the winner on better terms.

Anibale Fly is a sound jumper and has no stamina issues. At present he is trading at [17.0] on the Exchange which is more than fair.

Grand National Outsider Bet: Back Lakeview Lad @ [24.0] (Aintree, Saturday, 17:15)

Lakeview Lad could run well at a big price. This lightly-raced gelding has improved leaps and bounds this season. After winning a couple of decent handicaps this term, he finished an excellent third to Beware The Bear in the ultra competitive Ultima Chase at the Festival. He stayed on strongly in the closing stages, and was not beaten all that far.

Lakeview Lad's stamina is taken on trust, but his running style suggests he will get home over this marathon trip. I think he has a lot more to offer, and is generously priced at [24.0] on the exchange.

Aniblae Fly 1280.jpg

Best Bet from the Grand National Meeting: Back Kemboy @ [3.7] (Aintree Betway Bowl, Thursday, 14:50)

Kemboy is my best bet of the meeting.

I was gutted when he came to grief at the first in the Gold Cup last month, and I am on a serious retrieving mission. Prior to that mishap, he was most impressive when beating Monalee in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He swept to the front on the run to the last, and pulled clear to win with plenty in hand. I think he has more to offer, and comes in to this race a fresh horse.

All his rivals ran at the Festival and are at a distinct disadvantage in my opinion. Coming back to contest a Grade 1 on three weeks rest will not be easy. I believe Kemboy will prove difficult to beat, and is attractively priced at [3.7] on the exchange.

Alan Thompson - Take the Tiger

Grand National Best Bet: Back Tiger Roll [5.2] (Aintree, Saturday, 17:15)

When you look at this year's race it looks like this is going to be an even bigger slog than usual. There's plenty of spots of rain on the horizon add that had to a large amount of genuine front runners suggests to me that you need to be looking at out-and-out proven stayers.

It's not original I know but it's hard to look past Tiger Roll, he actually looks a good bet even at what initially look restrictive odds at [5.2]. However, that equates to a better than 22% chance that he wins the race and I think he has a better chance than that based on the quality of the field he looks like facing on Saturday.

The credentials are there for all to see, he stays, jumps really well and most importantly has the right man in the saddle when you analyse how the race is going to be run. Hunting from the back will be the order of the day and there's no better judge of pace than Davy Russell.

Obviously he's been well and truly laid out for the repeat win and I can easily see actually starting shorter, possibly nearer 5-2 [3.5] come race time. The whole race in the media will be framed around him and I can see liabilities on him being so that the bigger firms will have to shorten him in the ring and as a result on the Exchange. I think the best way to attack this would be to back Tiger Roll at around the current [5.0] mark on the Exchange and I think you'd probably be able in a position to green up for a profit pre-race or have a free bet, if that's your style but if you wanted to let it ride I wouldn't be putting you off.

Tiger Roll thru fence 1280.jpg

Grand National Outsider Bet: Back Singlefarmpayment @ 50/1 (Aintree, Saturday, 17:15)

As regards a good each-way selection, I think Singlefarmpayment, Tom George's lovable nine-year-old could be in for a good run, he has been crying out for a marathon trip for some time now. He's run very well at up to three mile three furlongs at Cheltenham and I think the extra trip will really suit.

Singlefarmpayment likes to be ridden from off the pace so the amount of front runners in the race will ensure he gets a strongly run race and I think he'll take to the fences no problem. I want to have him on my side at around 50-1 each-way especially with the enhanced place terms on offer for the race.

Best Bet from the Grand National Meeting: Back Eamon Amon An Cnoic @ [7.4] in the Red Rum Chase (Aintree, Thursday, 16:40)

Elsewhere at Aintree, my bet of the meeting runs in the Red Rum Chase (16:40, Thursday). Having seen him travel so well in the Byrne Group Plate at the Cheltenham Festival, the first thing I wrote in my notes was Red Rum Chase.

Eamon Amon An Cnoic eventually finished fourth in that race but travelled like a very good horse, with the stable in better form and the drop in trip looking ideal on likely good/soft ground then everything look in place for a massive run. He's around [7.4] at the moment but I can easily see him going off much shorter on Thursday come race time.

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