We have detailed our thoughts about this year’s Grand National in our dedicated guide, available here.
As far as the betting strategy goes, tempting as it is to bet half a dozen runners, we are going to limit ourselves to just 2.
Leading the way is Thunder and Roses. The winner of the 2015 Irish National, he has been showing some return to form of late and has a running style that should suit the race. We prefer him to the stables other Irish National winner, Rogue Angel, who could also go very well, but hasn’t been showing the same level of form recently.
Our second slot is up for grabs between two old rivals in Vieux Lion Rouge and Blaklion. Both arrive as horses on the up and with clear winning chances.
The challenge for Blaklion is the fences as he is not overly big. Jockey booking Noel Fehily is a big plus, and he has a touch of class which could prove decisive if his jumping holds up.
Vieux Lion Rouge faded to 7th in this race last year, but returned to win over the fences here in December. He is proven over this course and should jump around well – can he finish off his race better now that he’s a year older?
We expect last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri to run another sound race and he can place without threatening the win, whilst Saint Are is another with an each way chance.
Thunder and Roses will head our ticket as an each way choice. Vieux Lion Rouge’s proven course form is just enough to pip Blaklion for the role of second string.
Thunder and Roses, (1715 Aintree), 33/1 each way, Paddy Power pay the first 6 places,
Vieux Lion Rouge, (1715 Aintree), 12/1 win
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