Gordon Elliott: Exclusive views on my three runners in the Aintree Grand National
After a hugely successful Cheltenham Festival, quickly followed by his first win in the Irish Grand National, Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott has his sights firmly fixed on victory in Saturday's Aintree showpiece...
"He's not an overly big horse but he jumps for fun and has the heart of a lion, he loves a trip - his last two wins have been over 3m6+ and I think he is a perfect type for the National and reuniting his partnership with Davy Russell for the event will suit."
- Gordon Elliott on Tiger Roll
Jack can get a great tune of out stable favourite
17:15 Grand National - Bless The Wings
Bless The Wings is a firm favourite among the staff, he is a real big old fashioned type who is a very careful jumper. He was unlucky at Cheltenham in the Cross-Country race where he slipped and fell at the 12th when going well but aside from that his jumping record is exemplary and he has encountered National fences before, jumping around in the Topham in 2015.
His latest start in the Irish National he just found the ground much too testing, it was near un-raceable and he was never happy so Brian did the sensible thing and pulled him up. His last win came at Cheltenham in December where he stayed on well to come home ahead of Cantlow and favourite Josies Order. Jack Kennedy knows him very well and gets a great tune out of him.
Solid jumping Tiger aiming to keep the success Roll-ing
17:15 Grand National - Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll was incredible in the Cross-Country race at Cheltenham, now a three-time Festival winner he has been a wonderful servant to the yard.
He's not an overly big horse but he jumps for fun and has the heart of a lion, he loves a trip - his last two wins have been over 3m6+ and I think he is a perfect type for the National and reuniting his partnership with Davy Russell for the event will suit.
Obviously this is the Grand National and you need luck on your side but having a good jumper is half the battle and I feel I am very well represented between my three runners, all of whom schooled very well over National fences last week.
Hopeful of a big run for Ucello
17:15 Grand National - Ucello Conti
Ucello Conti was getting a dream run in the National last year when he blundered and unseated Daryl Jacob at the 22nd, the year before he finished fourth of 22 finishers less than 3L behind Vieux Lion Rouge after a great spin around. He is a horse who is ideal for the National and is trained all year with this as his main target.
On his latest appearance in the Thyestes he struggled in very testing conditions but he was second in the race the year before on better ground. Based on his two previous runs in the National I am very hopeful of a big run from the ten-year-old with conditions to suit.
And finally, a nice each way chance in the day's closing race...
18:20 - High Expectations
High Expectations was last seen in November last year, winning a 1m7 Hurdle at Leister on good to soft ground. He has been a great little dual-purpose horse for his owner Martin Wasylocha and we'll continue to have plenty of fun with him. He may have benefited from a run prior to this but he's in excellent form at home and I think he goes here with a nice little each way chance under Donogh Myler.
Betfair's Barry Orr joined pundit Gary O'Brien to preview the Grand National from the Aintree course. Check out our video.