Saturday 15th April 2023
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome aboard to this week’s Saturday blog which is one of the biggest of the year as it’s Grand National Day at Aintree. I’ve got four fancies in the big one as well as a couple of picks in the races prior to the feature.
My first pick of the day comes in the 2:25 which is a ‘Handicap Hurdle’ that’s contested over three miles and half of a furlong. This ferociously competitive affair currently has twenty-two runners set to go to post at the time of writing, and I’ve narrowed it down to West Balboa at 7/1 for Dan and Harry Skelton. She’s a lightly-raced mare by Yeates who’s a horse that I’ve thought has considerable potential since she made her racecourse debut around eighteen months ago. Her most recent outing came in January which means she comes into the race a lot fresher than most, and that last effort was her most impressive performance to date as she took the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton. She’s only been raised five pounds for that success last time and if getting some luck in the run around here I think she could go very close.
My second punt of the day comes in the 4:15 which is a ‘Handicap Chase’ that’s ridden over three miles and a furlong. Following the theme of extremely competitive handicaps, this one is another which you could make a case for most of the field. I’m taking a chance on Shakem Up’Arry though who’s currently an 8/1 chance for Ben Pauling and Luca Morgan. He was last seen when posting a fine effort at Cheltenham in ‘The Plate’ when he finished third of sixteen behind the runaway winner Seddon. He’s only been raised a pound for that run and I think if that effort hasn’t taken too much out of him he could go well again here for a yard that has been in good form as of late.
The big one itself comes up at 5:15, that’s unless a load of vegans have trashed the place up. Anyway, moving swiftly on as I don’t want to get cancelled, the Grand National is a ‘Premier Handicap Chase’ that’s contested over a marathon trip of four miles and two and a half furlongs and I’m once again going with my traditional four selections.
The first of my picks comes in the form of Delta Work at 9/1 for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell, he comes here off the back of another victory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Cross Country, and was placed in this race last year. I think he’s got a great chance if he gets a clear round. Next up it’s Mr Incredible at 14/1 for Willie Mullins and Bryan Hayes, the Closutton master has transformed him into a serious handicapper over the last few months, placing in two extremely competitive contests at Warwick and Cheltenham. There could well be more to come from him as his mark still looks lenient enough.
My third selection is Le Milos at 16/1 who represents the Skelton’s, on his penultimate outing he won the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in smart style, and was just run down close home at Kelso last time, he looks another progressive sort and if handling the trip I think he’s got a massive chance. So, the fourth and final pick for me will be Longhouse Poet at 18/1 for Martin Brassil and J J Slevin. He was sixth in the race last year and got back into the winners’ enclosure on his most recent outing which came at Down Royal in March, he’s a horse that knows how to win a big handicap having won the Thyestes Chase and if getting a bit of luck I think he’s got every chance of improving on last year’s effort.
image credit: horseracingphoto.co.uk