The Grand National weights are out and Tony Calvin picks out his early best bet of the Aintree ante-post market on the Exchange...
"Able to race off his Irish mark of 156 here, and a ground and tactically-versatile youngster to boot, he appeals as a very safe Aintree conveyance indeed."
Brace for market chances
Expect the Betfair Exchange market to go a little bit crazy when the embargo officially ends and the Grand National weights become common knowledge at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
But my ante-post selection is neither a friend or foe (at this stage anyway) to the handicapper come half-three - I will be in Dublin air-space soon after hopefully, heading home, hence I am filing this very quickly - and that is Burrows Saint.
He is worth a small-stakes, win-only bet on the exchange at 21.020/1 or bigger.
My record in the National tipping stakes is worse than my fanciful bid to grow an afro in my 50th year, and I have often been guilty of trying to be too clever for my own good in this race, and failing miserably.
So, I have kept it simple this year and am siding with a horse with an attractive profile few in the race can match.
Bar Tiger Roll of course, and I am sure you will be reading quite a lot about him for the rest of Tuesday.
Back to Burrows Saint
Anyway, my brief focus on the National here starts and ends with Burrows Saint.
He is a 7yo with relatively few miles on the clock but the experience he has stacked up in that time could prove invaluable at Aintree.
He won the Irish National as a 6yo novice back in April, then completed the daunting task of Auteuil in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris the following month - albeit in fifth place, beaten 22 lengths (probably a better performance than those stark facts suggest, mind you) - and he has clearly been targeted at this race this season.
He was never going to shine over 2m4f in the Grade 1 Drinmore on his return and his chase mark was protected when he took in a hurdles races over an extended 2m3f at Punchestown last time.
That should have been a wholly inadequate test of stamina but he brushed aside three stablemates from the front there, and that confirmed him in very rude health.
Able to race off his Irish mark of 156 here, and a ground and tactically-versatile youngster to boot, he appeals as a very safe Aintree conveyance indeed.
Yes, he is my bet at 20s-plus at this stage on the Exchange. For those who want the extra security, Betfair Sportsbook are now non runner no bet for the National, where he rates a 12/1 chance.
But don't go mad on the stakes front.
He will probably have a prep race over fences before Aintree, so that is one barrier to overcome before we get a run for our money in the big' un.
Grand National Weights: The Timeform Verdict
Timeform chase handicapper Phil Turner said: "Native River has long appealed as the sort who'd relish the test at Aintree, so he looks the clear pick at the weights at present for the 2020 edition. Definitly Red and The Storyteller are other classy performers who look well handicapped on their best form and make appeal at even bigger odds. That said, Tiger Roll's exceptional record over National and cross-country fences is hard to ignore and he remains a far more attractive betting proposition than most of the others currently above him in the ratings."
Timeform jumps editor Dan Barber added: "Tiger Roll, and other Aintree naturals before him, force a departure from the usual Timeform conventions of 'chance at the weights'. What Tiger Roll has shown is a rare effectiveness on the course that can't be reflected in pounds, and the fact he widened his winning margin from his first success to his second - despite a mark some 9lb higher - goes a long way to confirming that view.
"Yes, others will emerge between now and then, but it's hard to picture any scenario that doesn't see Tiger Roll sent off a worthy favourite - provided Eddie and Michael deign to 'cross the road' one more time."
Back Burrows Saint at 21.020/1 or bigger in Grand National