Grand National Day: Tips, Odds & News
3.30pm – Who’s excited to see Apple’s Jade then? Her infectious personality will attract punters – just like this colourful statue at Aintree!
3.10pm – There’s nothing more satisfying than calling a race spot on beforehand and that I just did. Can somebody pat me on the back?
Front-running tactics ruled the roost on Ornua as Davy Russell bossed the race from start to finish. As predicted, it was second AGAIN for Us And Them.
The stayers are out at 3.40pm and the popular mare Apple’s Jade will have her legions of fans following her in with a bet. She’s 11/8 fav with us but if you fancy something a bit longer on the each-way front then have a go on Wholestone and Clyne who tend to go well at this venue.
2:30pm – It’s a big shock in the second race as Reserve Tank comes home at 20/1 under Robbie Power. Colin Tizzard was having a quiet time of things until yesterday and now he’s just had two lovely winners in the space of 24 hours.
The 3:00pm is a wonderful little renewal of the Maghull Novices’ Chase. Can Ornua bounce back from his fall last time or can Us And Them put a string of seconds behind him and get his head in front where it matters for trainer Joseph O’Brien?
2:00pm – Next up is the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle race with considerably less runners than the first but a tricky contest nevertheless. Kateson has attracted some money whilst Brewin’upastorm is slightly on the drift.
You can’t keep those Skelton boys down at Aintree as the nicely handicapped Aux Ptits Soins scoots home in the first at the attractively priced 11/1. As I alluded to earlier there were some big priced placers in that race.
1:30pm – There’s a very open look to race one on what could be a potential banana skin for placepot backers and the like.
Sire Du Berlais has been the subject of good money but it’s Poker Play who is all the rage. Coolanly and Burrows Park both look well in the paddock so I’ll be sticking with them.
12:40pm – We’ve got a couple of non-runners to speak of in the last: Normal Norman & Kuiper Belt are out of the race.
12:00pm – Betting update: 888sport are now an INDUSTRY BEST price of 11/2 for Tiger Roll to retain his title. Latest Grand National 2019 odds can be found here!
11:00am – Will TIGER ROLL be paraded in front of the 1st placed post later today? The 2019 Grand National is just HOURS away!
10:00am – Good morning again from Aintree racecourse on a day which will witness the 172nd running of the world’s greatest steeplechase – The Aintree Grand National.
A world wide audience of 600 million and a bumper crowd of over 50,000 (including little old me) will be eagerly awaiting the 40 runners and riders assembling down at the start for the 5.15 pm off time. But who will be writing themselves into the history books this year then?
The Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll (11st 5lb) is set to go off as the one of the shortest-priced favourites in Grand National history.
A thrilling head winner of the 2018 renewal, Tiger Roll is bidding to become the first horse since Red Rum (1973, 1974 & 1977) to win multiple renewals of this four and a quarter-mile marathon.
Tiger Roll heads our betting at 5/1 after a career-best performance at Cheltenham last time out left him officially 8lb well-in for the Aintree showpiece. The shortest-priced favourite in the history of the Grand National was Golden Miller who was a 2/1 shot in the 1935.
Naturally odds of 5/1 or less are not everyone’s cup of tea and there are plenty of people looking to take him on with a whole host of fancied contenders attracting each-way support.
Owner Trevor Hemmings has already tasted Grand National success three times through Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015).
Hemmings, bidding to become the most successful owner of all-time this year, is triple-handed in 2019 courtesy of Vintage Clouds (Sue Smith 14/1), Lake View Lad (Nick Alexander 16/1) and Warriors Tale (Paul Nicholls 100/1).
The afore mentioned pair both performed well when finishing second and third respectively in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, which left them 5lb and 3lb well-in for this race and it is understandable why there is plenty of support for them in the betting, plus everybody loves a grey don’t they?
You’d be forgiven in forgetting there’s another six supporting races on the Aintree card today given all the razzmatazz around the National itself but for your information here is the full itinerary for today:
13:45 – Gaskells Handicap Hurdle 3m ½f
14:25 – Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle 2m 4f
15:00 – Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase 2m
15:40 – Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle 3m ½f
16:20 – Betway Handicap Steeple Chase 3m 1f
17:15 – Randox Health Grand National Steeple Chase 4m 2½f (feature race)
18:15 – Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle 2m ½f
Conditions are described Good to Soft on the Grand National course and similar on the other track. The weather is sunny, but chilly and today is certainly the best day on the weather front.
Non Runners: 1.45pm Maximiser, 5.15pm Mall Dini (replaced by Just A Par),6.20pm All Yours.
Have a fantastic day all!
9:35am – Here are my fancies for the entire card today. Hopefully I can follow on from a fairly successful Ladies Day.
1.45 – Burrows Parks & Coolanly (e/w).
2.25 – One For Rosie & Kateson (e/w).
3.00 – Ornua (e/w).
3.40 – Wholestone & Clyne (e/w).
4.20 – Touch Kick & Federici (e/w).
5.15 – Lake View Lad, Vintage Clouds & Joe Farrell (e/w).
6.20 – Subcontinent & Pink Legend (e/w).
9:00am – The going at Aintree has eased to GOOD TO SOFT on the Grand National course, with the hurdle and conventional chase track at GOOD TO SOFT, GOOD IN PLACES after a dry night.
8:00am – Check out Steve’s thoughts on the 2019 Grand National runners and riders below – there are plenty of viable contenders in the mix to emerge victorious at Aintree…
Grand National Friday: Tips, Odds & News
5:20pm – Return of the Mc! The favourite narrowly wins the last race of the day to many a cheer.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for LIVE coverage from Aintree on Grand National Day. Our Grand National vlog will be live onsite ahead of what promises to be an exciting day of racing.
4:55pm – Champ is cool as you like as he enters the winner’s enclosure with jockey Mark Walsh!
4:50pm – It just had to be didn’t it? Champ comes home victorious under a canny ride from Mark Walsh who was coolness personified there. Favourite backers will be in clover after that result.
And now onto the lucky last at Aintree- the Weatherby’s Bank NH Flat Race. Mcfabulous is the clear favourite and punters will be “lovin’ it” if he obliges.
4:15pm – The Topham is often a front runners race and it proved to be so again today as Cadmium makes all under an astute ride from Paul Townend. Sub Lieutenant was flying at the finish to claim second whilst Doitforthevillage and Janika take the third and fourth spots.
After all that excitement we now have the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle race. Will Champ come home the champ?
3:45pm – And now it’s the BIG Friday race on Ladies Day- the Topham Chase over the famous Grand National fences. 27 runners now go to post after 3 horses were withdrawn earlier in the day.
There’s been quite a gamble on the Irish-raider Call It Magic who is now a trading at 5/1. Janika is 6/1 but can he out his seconditus behind him?
The Supreme Racing Club will be hoping to build upon their Kemboy success yesterday with the Willie Mullins-trained Cadmium (18/1).
It’s such an open race that it’s certainly worth backing a few each-way and keeping your fingers crossed!
3:35pm – Min wins the Melling Chase with minimum of fuss! How easy was that? Backed into favouritism on the off (2/1), the result was never in doubt under a Ruby Walsh master class.
Connections were clearly overjoyed in the winner’s enclosure afterwards. Could we see Ruby Walsh and RATHVINDEN in there after the Grand National tomorrow?
3:00pm – Lostintranslation’s stamina comes to the fore as he runs down the gallant front-running Top Ville Ben who was just denied second place. The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old was returned at odds of 3/1.
We now move onto the “Melling Steeple Chase” which again is a small but select field. Everybody loves a grey and Politologue is now a 5/2 chance. Waiting Patiently is challenging for favouritism and will prove to be a popular winner from the Ruth Jefferson yard.
2:25pm – A cat like performance from Felix Desjy under Jack Kennedy as the French-bred makes all to land the Top Novices’ Hurdle. Aramon got going late but Kennedy just had enough in hand to fend off Ruby Walsh.
Onto the Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase now and it’s a small but classy field that go to post. Topofthegame is a shade of odds on but the Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation gamble is gathering momentum.
2:10pm – UPDATE: We’ve pushed Tiger Roll out to 9/2 from 4/1 for tomorrow’s Grand National. Tiger Roll is bidding to become the first horse since Red Rum to win multiple renewals of the race.
2:05pm – Next up it’s the Top Novices’ Hurdle race. Are your Itchy Feet making you want to have a bet yet? He’s slightly on the drift however as the money starts to come in for Aramon and Precious Cargo.
1:55pm – “One for all and all for one, Gordon’s string are always ready!” I think quite a few people were expecting that result as the nine-year-old Three Musketeers nabs them all late in the day to score at odds of 8/1.
He opened up at 16/1 earlier so there was quite a surge on the horse that has recently moved yards from Dan Skelton to Gordon Elliott.
12:45pm – GOING UPDATE: Grand National Course: Soft, Good to Soft in places (from Soft). Mildmay & Hurdle Courses: Soft, Good to Soft in places (from Soft).
12:00pm – Bryony Frost has just walked into the Press Room looking resplendent on Ladies Day for her spell the panel on ITV Racing today.
I bet she’s quite pleased to glam up and not get splattered in mud for a change. She’ll bring lots of infectious fun to your TV screens later I’m sure.
11:30am – The gates are open and the girls are arriving in numbers for Ladies Day today at Aintree. Hopefully the weather holds up for those in attendance!
10:30am – Here are my own fancies for today, but tread carefully as I was pretty hopeless yesterday bar for Moon Over Germany!
1.45pm – Project Bluebook & Brio Conti (e/w)
2.20pm- Itchy Feet (win).
2.50pm- Lostintranslation (win).
3.25pm- Hell’s Kitchen (e/w).
4.05pm- Flying Angel, Doitforthevillage, Sub Lieutenant & Cadmium (e/w).
4.40pm- Lisnagar Oscar (e/w).
5.15pm- Blackhillsofdakota (e/w).
10:00am – Good morning again from Aintree racecourse on what can only be described as one of Merseyside’s biggest social highlights of the year- Ladies Day.
Dubbed #FabulousFriday (don’t forget to use the hashtag), racegoers today will witness a sea of fashion, bubbles and famous faces, but less about me – what can we expect to find on the track today?
Well, the 45,000 strong crowd should be more than entertained by the following seven race card:
1.40 The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 4f 75,000
2.20 The Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f 100,000
2.50 The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f 100,000
3.25 The JLT Melling Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 250,000
4.05 The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5f 140,000
4.40 The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m ½f 100,000
5.15 The Weatherbys Racing Bank Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2) 2m 1f 45,000
The race over the Grand National fences on Ladies Day is the Topham Handicap Chase at 4.05pm.
Nicky Henderson is chasing a sixth victory in the two miles, five furlong and 19 yard contest and has four entries, headed by top-weight and market leader Janika (7/1, 11st 12lb).
The six-year-old has finished second on all three starts since arriving at Seven Barrows, with his latest effort coming when runner-up in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 14th.
Henderson also is responsible for O O Seven (25/1, 11st 1lb), Divine Spear (40/1, 9st 13lb) and Kilcrea Vale (18/1, 9st 10lb).
Paul Nicholls’ entries are Adrien Du Pont (12/1, 11st 1lb) and recent Greatwood Gold Cup scorer San Benedeto ( 18/1, 11st 4lb). Nicholls has won the Topham Chase once before, with Gwanako scoring in 2008.
Cregg House was the most recent winner of the Topham Handicap Chase to be trained in Ireland in 2005 and there are several Irish-trained entries including Cadmium (18/1, 11st 2lb), Polidam (25/1, 10st 4lb),Sub Lieutenant (33/1, 11st 5lbs), Woods Well (25/1, 10st 6lb), Call It Magic (5/1 fav, 10st 0lb) and Peregrine Run (16/1, 11st 1lb).
Today’s Non-Runners: 2.20pm Sofia’s Rock, 4.05pm Born Survivor, Voix d’Eau, Dimple 5.15pm Montego Grey & Adjourned.
*Just a reminder that in the Grand National tomorrow Mall Dini is out with a self-certificate and is replaced by the first reserve Just A Par (125/1).
8:30am – The official word from Aintree is that the ground is now SOFT on all three courses. The weather forecast looks dry (fingers crossed) for the rest of the day so let’s hope for a rain-free day of racing!
7:30am – Rise and shine folks, it’s time for Day Two of the 2019 Grand National meeting at Aintree. Luckily for punters, Steve is here to cast his eye over the runners and riders, with betting tips on all seven of Friday’s races.
Grand National Thursday: Tips, Odds & News
5:20 pm – Not the Dancing Queen in the last but the Glancing Queen wins the lucky last for Alan King. The mare was well backed at 5/1.
Please come back for our vlog recording later as we do a quick review ahead of tomorrow.
5:05pm – BREAKING: Mall Dini is OUT of the 2019 Grand National after sustaining a leg injury. Just A Par will take his place in Saturday’s big race.
5:00pm – Photograph of winning connections at a rather soggy Aintree. Rachael Blackmore with a superb ride on Moon Over Germany to claim victory.
4:50pm – This is Germany calling!, this is Germany calling! Rachael Blackmore is literally over the moon as she dominates the Red Rum Chase from start to finish aboard Moon Over Germany. The others never even got a look in – I blame Brexit!
And so the first afternoon draws to a close and we now have the mare’s bumper. It’s essentially a flat race for NH horses if you’ve never heard of a bumper before. Minella Melody has been the subject of favouritism all day but there’s a fair bit of interest on Timetochill.
4:20pm – Tabitha returns to rapturous applause in the parade ring from many of her friends!
4:15pm – What a cracker of a race! Tabitha Worsley manages to get Top Wood (14/1) back up after being passed on the elbow by Burning Ambition.
There’s another tricky handicap up next (Red Rum Chase) as 13 now go to post after five withdrawals – again, on account of the going.
3:45pm – Supersundae knuckles down in the final furlong to range up past Buveur D’Air and hold on for an impressive win. Robbie Power living up to his surname in a driving finish in testing conditions.
It’s now time for the first of three races this week to be run over the famous Grand National fences. A pack of beagle dogs have just scuttled past my feet which can only mean one thing – The Foxhunters Steeplechase!
Road To Rome and Burning Ambition are popular choices in the sports betting markets.
3:40pm – BREAKING: Ruby Walsh pulls Faugheen up midway through the 2019 Aintree Hurdle. He reported that the 11-year-old is doung but “felt lifeless and he didn’t feel right.”
3:20pm – Hello mate! Kemboy getting up close and personal for a quick photo following his Aintree Bowl success.
3:15pm – Buveur D’Air has the chance to redeem himself after falling at Cheltenham. Click here for the latest betting odds!
3:00pm – KEMBOY sees them all off after leading all the way in the Aintree Bowl and makes amends for his Cheltenham mishap. He looks like he will go onto bigger and better things next season.
We now move onto the Aintree Hurdle. Nicky Henderson has pulled out Verdana Blue and Brain Power on account of the ground. Can Buveur D’Air stamp his authority on this field?
2:35pm – Punters are happy as Pentland Hills enters the winner’s enclosure. The Nicky Henderson-trained star is now three from three over hurdles, with wins at the Cheltenham Festival and now Grand National meeting.
2:30pm – Pentland Hills follows up his Triumph Hurdle victory with a dogged win over the well punted Fakir D’Oudaries.
Nico de Boinville reports that the ground is well and truly soft now. It’s now time for one of the most anticipated races of the day – the Aintree Bowl.
2:10pm – First snap from the winner’s enclosure this week. Kalashnikov connections delighted after a superb performance in Thursday’s opener!
1:55pm – KALASHNIKOV (4/1) rifles open in the first race under Jack Quinlan to beat the gallant mare Le Bag Au Roi. Conditions are looking really rough out there but the novices’ battled all the way to the line. A sensational win for Newmarket trainer Amy Murphy.
2:00pm – It’s time for the four-year-old juveniles now. There’s plenty of support for FAKIR D’OUDARIES to put the two Cheltenham Festival winners to the sword. Let’s see what happens…
1:00pm – Bristol De Mai is proving a popular choice amongst the national newspaper tipsters, with one witty headline reading “Do it Mai way”.
Showers have just started here, combined with the icy wind – it is certainly a BIG coat day. If this weather keeps up it will definitely play to the strengths of those who like a bit of juice in the ground.
1:10pm – I’ve just been handed a press release that RMG (Racecourse Media Group) are delivering truly worldwide broadcast exposure. With a little extra help from myself on this here blog we should be garnering a few more fans.
12:30pm – Atmosphere building here at Aintree. I’m on standby in case of a late call for a replacement jockey!
11:40am – Punters are starting to arrive at Aintree ahead of today’s opening race, the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase. Racing gets underway at 1:45pm and LA BAGUE AU ROI, trained by Warren Greatrex, currently heads the betting at 6/4.
10:00am – Aintree clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch has confirmed that the official going is GOOD TO SOFT ahead of Thursday’s racing. The Merseyside track is picture perfect ahead of the 2019 Grand National meeting…
9:30am – Our man Steve Mullington (@mulldog) has his first update of the day LIVE from Aintree…
Good morning and welcome to the first day of action from Aintree races, a day that the organisers have entitled “A Day For Champions”.
I certainly felt champion (said in my Northern dialect) as I walked through the Aintree gates this morning because I have been a fan of this racetrack and the Grand National Festival ever since I was a schoolboy.
Today is my 26th consecutive visit to this three-day fixture and the sheer excitement I feel as I alight from the train across the road sends shivers up my spine every single year. I sincerely hope I can share some of this Aintree magic with you through this live blog.
Today’s weather is sunny and fairly breezy and there are no reported non-runners. There are seven races to look forward to today and here is the running order:
Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (1:45pm)
A cracking race to kick off proceedings with as a whole host of contenders try to make amends for their Cheltenham Festival woes. Standing in their way is the popular mare La Bague Au Roi, who is unbeaten this season.
Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (2:20pm)
The Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills goes head-to-head with the Fred Winter scorer Band Of Outlaws, but could the Paul Nicholls-trained Christopher Wood be the fly in the ointment?
Betway Bowl Steeple Chase (2:50pm)
Several runners line up here from the last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup including Bristol De Mai who came a fine third to Al Boum Photo.
Betway Aintree Hurdle (3:25pm)
Buveur D’Air blotted the copy book in his bid to land a third Champion Hurdle and will be bidding to bounce back here. There are Irish raiders aplenty though taking him on.
Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (4:05pm)
The amateurs’ version of the Grand National run over the famous Aintree fences with previous winners Dineur (2017) and Balnaslow (2018) in the field once again.
Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (4:40pm)
Grand Annual third Brelan D’As is well fancied as is the popular mare- Lady Buttons.
Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (5:15pm)
The up and coming mares step up to the plate in the lucky last.
My Early Fancies For Thursday:
1.45 Bags Groove (e/w), 2.20 Christopher Wood (e/w), 2.50 Balko Des Flos (e/w), 3.25 Buveur D’Air (win), 4.05 Kruzhlinin (e/w), 4.40 Brelan D’As (e/w), 5.15 Shantewe & Eyes Right e/w).
And there is early money for the following runners: 1.45 Bags Groove, 2.50 Kemboy, 3.25 Faugheen 4.05 Road To Rome, 4.40 Revelyn Pleasure, 5.15 Farne.
NEWS JUST IN – Joe Farrell has made the cut for the Grand National and is the 40th named runner. Trained by Rebecca Curtis, he’s now a 14/1 chance with us here at 888sport.
7:45am – And they’re off! The 2019 Grand National meeting is finally here and it should be an absolute cracker. To kick things off, check out Steve’s top tips ahead of Thursday’s racing…
Grand National 2019: Meeting Overview
Starting with Grand National Thursday, the racecourse celebrates North West sporting champions past and present, as well as hosting four excellent Grade One races, including the Aintree Hurdle.
Day two of the festival sees the world-famous Ladies Day, when all things style and fashion are thrust into the spotlight.
Strutting their stuff on the track, rather than on the catwalk, will be a stellar cast of runners and riders for the Topham Chase – a formidable and frantic race in its own right, run over the National fences.
And then Grand National Day needs no introduction at all with it being the most iconic steeplechase in the world, watched by a global audience of 600 million and a race wagered upon by many a punter.
Grand National: Early Aintree News (March 24th)
West Yorkshire trainer Sue Smith has her sights set on a second Grand National victory, this time with the Trevor Hemmings-owned Vintage Clouds.
Smith enjoyed the biggest victory of her career in the 2013 edition of the world’s greatest chase when outsider Auroras Encore triumphed at 66/1.
Vintage Clouds, in contrast, is 14/1 with us here at 888Sport, after a series of good performances in staying chases.
The nine-year-old, who ended last season with a creditable third in the Scottish Grand National, began this campaign with victory in a valuable handicap chase over just shy of three and a quarter miles at Haydock Park in November.
Having disappointed in the Welsh Grand National on his next outing, the grey horse showed the benefit of a wind operation when a close second behind Beware The Bear in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 12th.
Vintage Cloud was allotted 10st with a rating of 144 when the weights were announced in February for the £1-million Grand National and, following his run at Cheltenham, is officially 5lb well-in as his rating has gone up to 149.
Smith, who is based at Craiglands Farm near Bingley, said: “Vintage Clouds has come out of Cheltenham in good form.
“He took that race really well and he had just come back from a small wind op, so we were absolutely delighted with him. He jumped great and we couldn’t have asked for more.
“Danny Cook gave him a lovely ride and all the team have done a lovely job with him at home.
“The Grand National at Aintree is now the plan for him and the three-week gap between his last race and Liverpool should be ideal.
“We are easing him back into his usual work routine, but he is fit and should be spot on for the Grand National.”
Hemmings is one of only four owners to have won the Grand National three times, along with Noel Le Mare (Red Run 1973, 1974 & 1977), James Machall (1873 Disturbance, 1874 Reugny, 1876 Regal) and Sir Charles Assheton-Smith (1893 Cloister, Jerry M 1912, Covertcoat 1913).
Hemmings tasted success through Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015), and if successful in 2019, he will become the most successful owner in Grand National history.
A maximum of 40 runners can line up for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 6th April with the next confirmation stage on Monday 1st April.
It is the 172nd running of the world renowned Aintree chase, which is over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards and 30 fences.