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Lucky Loader’s Aintree Angles: Watch Out For Walsh

With Aintree fast approaching, I’ve gone back to take a look at a few angles that might be worth keeping on side for Grand National Week. Surprisingly, lots of punters seem to prefer Aintree to Cheltenham, as there is less of a build-up, some of the racing can be more competitive, and the winners of the races are more diverse. Looking at the entries for Aintree this year, the racing looks as deep and competitive as ever.

Aintree National Fences Horse Racing

Is there a Cheltenham curse?

There is always a perception that horses that win at the Cheltenham Festival can come unstuck at Aintree; however, after looking at the stats, I don’t think there is a Cheltenham curse. Lots of horses that have won or run well at the Cheltenham Festival have gone on to win at Aintree in recent years.

For example, looking at some of last year’s Aintree winners, Constitution Hill, Sire Du Berlais, Zenta, Shishkin, and Jonbon are all horses that won or were placed at the Cheltenham Festival, so I think it’s worth keeping some Cheltenham horses on side.

Nicholls is a no-show in the Manifesto 

Since the inception of the Manifesto Novices’ Chase in 2009, Paul Nicholls has not managed to train the winner of the race. Over the years, Frodon, Cyrname, Hitman, Pic D’Orhy, and Stage Star have all run for him and come up short. There doesn’t seem to be any logic to why they’ve run below par; some went to Cheltenham and others didn’t.

This year, Nicholls runs Ginny’s Destiny, who has done very little wrong this season. The eight-year-old gelding has mostly been campaigned at Cheltenham, and he was last seen finishing second behind Grey Dawning in the Turners’ Novices’ Chase at the Festival. They’ll be reopposing again here, but I’ll expect Grey Dawning to confirm the form again as I think his stamina will come into play.

Watch out for Walsh in Grade 1s

It might be a surprise to some, but Mark Walsh has a fantastic record in Grade 1 races during Grand National week at Aintree. Over the past five Aintree spring meetings, he has won seven Grade 1 races for a variety of different trainers, including Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott, and Joseph O’Brien. In fact, if you had a £1 stake on all rides in Grade 1s at Aintree in that time, you’d be up +£27.00.

This year he looks to have another strong book of rides with Corbett’s Cross, Inothewayurthinkin, Mystical Power, and Sire Du Berlais, so don’t be shocked if you see him in the winners’ enclosure this week.

Under the radar Russell

Lucinda Russell always seems to deliver at Aintree, winning several races at this meeting over the years. Some of these victories have returned some big prices, including in Grade 1’s, with Ahoy Senor winning at 66/1 and Apple Away at 16/1.

Also, horses that had won on their previous starts for her have a good record of winning at Aintree, with Ahoy Senor, Apple Away, and Corach Rambler all doing the business. This year, Serious Operator, Myretown, and Epsirit Du Poiter fit that criteria, so they are definitely ones to take note of this year.

Overall, I will definitely be looking at a few of these trends when I come to finalising my Aintree selections this week. If you are playing during Grand National Week please remember to gamble responsibly!

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