2018 Grand National: Two recommendations from a 40-strong field
Cian Carroll | 14 April 2018
Who takes the top prize?
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National has finally arrived. It’s undoubtedly one of the great days of the sporting calendar.
But don’t forget, it’s not just that race on the day. There are six other exciting contests including three Grade 1 renewals.
The ITV racing crew will be there to capture most of the action. And the Coral News Team have previewed what should be a superb day…
A National win and each-way recommendation
The Aintree Grand National is always one of the most difficult races to call. 40 horses over a 4m 3f distance on soft ground with a notoriety for being a favourite’s graveyard.
Of those that head the betting, it’s arguably Total Recall who probably has the best claim. His Ladbrokes Trophy win at Newbury earlier in the season lay down a marker. And if you’re backing one of the top four, he’s probably the one to be with.
However, the Aintree National can throw up a surprise and therefore, why not look further down the betting for a big each-way price? Gas Line Boy has plenty of experience around this course and was fifth in this last year.
Ian Williams’ 10-year-old is arguably racing better than ever and runs off just 10-10. He won the Grand Sefton here back in December and hasn’t raced since January so hopefully he’ll be nice and fresh. Williams’ charge is certainly worth an e/w bet.
Henderson’s on fire
The Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at 2:25pm looks a keen renewal with Black Op and On The Blind Side far out in front at the head of the betting.
Black Op is actually the hot favourite, but it’s Nicky Henderson’s charge the Coral News Team are sweet on here. Henderson has been in fine form throughout the meeting and he’s got good claims for another win with his six-year-old.
He gave Cheltenham a miss to specifically race here and was highly impressive in a Grade 2 at Sandown before Christmas. On The Blind Side is an exciting prospect and an enticing price.
Wholestone to go one further
The Stayers’ Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham could be a big indicator of how this goes here.
Sam Spinner didn’t perform as expected at Prestbury Park and one wonders whether that might affect Jedd O’Keefe’s six-year-old star.
He finished fifth there with Wholestone – once again – hitting the frame in third. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge will love the trip and the cut in the ground.
Daryl Jacobs gets the ride again and he was on board for a Grade 2 win at Cheltenham back in January. He’s a certified stayer and should make good use of the course conditions.
ITV Racing Tips:
2:25 Aintree – On the Blind Side
3:00 Aintree – Shantou Rock e/w
3:40 Aintree – Wakanda e/w
4:20 Aintree – Wholestone
5:15 Aintree – Total Recall & Gas Line Boy e/w
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing