Best Bets for Aintree Grand National Day

Best Bets for Aintree Grand National Day

The wait is almost over, with this coming Saturday seeing the 2024 edition of the biggest betting race on the British calendar. Boasting a level of betting turnover and public interest of which other races can only dream, the Aintree Grand National may look a little different this year – with “only” 34 runners set to go to post – but those slightly reduced numbers are unlikely to lessen the spectacle as the field tackle iconic obstacles such as Bechers’ Brook and The Chair.

The Grand National is a race not to be missed but isn’t the only chance we have to back a winner on Merseyside, with Aintree laying on a further six contests for our punting pleasure. Here, using data presented by, we pick out our top selections in each race, including our best bet in the Grand National.

1:20 William Hill Handicap Hurdle

Dan Skelton took the 2023 edition of this contest and looks to have a trio of interesting contenders this year. Seefin makes some each-way appeal, whilst the improving Gwennie May Boy arrives seeking a hattrick. However, we fancy the one to be on is the defending champion West Balboa. This season hasn’t quite gone to plan for this mare, but she’s a perfect two from two at this track and - having been tried in Grade 1 company - looks dangerous dropping back into a handicap at a course which suits so well. Successful off a mark of 143 twelve months ago, she gets in off 141 here and suggested she may be returning to form with a solid effort last time out at Kempton.

  • Recommended Bet - West Balboa to win @ 5/1 with LiveScoreBet

1:55 Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle

We have a solid edition of this event for the novices up next, with three of the first four in the betting having finished placed at the Cheltenham Festival. Willie Mullins sends Baring Bingham second and third Jimmy Du Seuil and Ile Atlantique into battle. The pair didn't get to within 16 lengths of the brilliant Ballyburn at the festival, but it would be a surprise if there was anything of that quality in this field. Both can go well, but preference is for the Gordon Elliott trained Brighterdaysahead. This Gigginstown House Stud runner had her bubble burst by Golden Ace in the Ryanair Mares’ Novices Hurdle, but still ran well to finish second in a race which turned into a sprint. Long looking the type to be suited by more of a stamina test, this step up in trip looks all in her favour. She can hand Elliott a third successive win in this.

  • Recommended Bet - Brighterdaysahead @ 2/1 with BetGoodwin

2:30 William Hill Handicap Chase

Jonjo O’Neill’s Crebilly heads the betting in this contest, having finished second to Shakem Up’arry in the Plate at Cheltenham. Had he put in a better round of jumping, he may well have won that day and is a must for the shortlist. On the downside, he has been raised 3lb for not winning. Our vote goes to another from the yard of Dan Skelton – The King Of Ryhope. Lightly raced for an eight-year-old, he made a favourable impression when scoring on chase debut in October and again caught the eye when not beaten far in a Grade 2 last time out at Ascot. Down in class and likely targeted at this race, he may yet prove better than a mark of 137.

  • Recommended Bet - The King of Ryhope @ 5/1 with BetGoodwin

3:05 JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle

No Teahupoo in the meeting's main event for the stamina-laden hurdlers, but we do have the second, fourth, and fifth from the Stayers Hurdle in the shape of Flooring Porter, Buddy One, and Sire Du Berlais. Shark Hanlon’s Hewick adds intrigue and looks a big price at 16/1, but he will need the ground to dry out to take his chance. Flooring Porter can make his usual bold bid from the front, but this can go to 2022 and 2023 winner Sire Du Berlais. This horse always comes to life at this time of year and can build on that Stayers Hurdle effort to grab the hat trick.

  • Recommended Bet - Sire Du Berlais to win @ 11/2 with BetUK

4:00 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase

Next up, the big one, as Lucinda Russell’s 2023 champ Corach Rambler bids to add his name to the list of dual National winners. He could hardly arrive in better form, having finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but has a 13lb higher mark to contend with this year. The Willie Mullins duo of I Am Maximus and Meetingofthewaters have come in for strong support, but neither have faced these fences, which is enough to put us off at a short price. The one to be on is the 2023 runner-up, Vanillier, from the Gavin Cromwell operation. Jumping with aplomb in the 2023 edition, he powered up the run-in to lose out by only 2¼l. 9lbs better off with his conqueror, he looks a solid bet to at least hit the frame.

  • Recommended Bet - Vanillier each way @ 10/1 with Sporting Index

5:00 My Pension Expert Maghull Novices’ Chase

Found A Fifty is the one to beat in the penultimate contest, having run a cracker to finish second to Gaelic Warrior in the Arkle Chase. However, he is unlikely to have things all his own way, with the six-timer-seeking Hercule Du Seuil heading up the opposition, along with Dan Skelton’s Etalon, who is unbeaten in three this term. All have sound claims, but the best value in the race is an each-way bet on Henry De Bromhead’s Quilixios. De Bromhead has won this three times in the last ten years and can go close to adding to that tally with this dual Grade 1 winning hurdler. Two from four over fences, he fluffed his lines when blowing the start in the Arkle but is attractively priced to get back on track under Rachael Blackmore.

  • Recommended Bet - Quilixios each way @ 10/1 with LiveScoreBet

5:35 Weatherbys Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race

Jonjo O’Neill’s Mister Meggit is out on his own at the head of the market in the finale, having won his two starts to date. He’s hard to fault but looks a short enough price as he steps up from Class 5 company to Grade 2 level. Sorceleur is a solid each-way option for Paul Nicholls following an impressive win at Taunton, but our vote goes to Dan Skelton’s Valgrand. This one went into our notebooks when staying on for second in a Class 2 contest at Cheltenham - when doing well to finish as close as he did, having shown signs of inexperience. Likely to improve for that effort, he can land the finale for his trainer, who regularly does well at this fixture.

  • Recommended Bet - Valgrand each way @ 10/1 with LiveScoreBet

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