Grand National Day 2019: Lucky 15
Coolanly – Grade 3 Handicap, 13:45 Aintree
Sire du Berlais will likely be popular once more following his last-gasp Cheltenham Festival win, and the Pertemps Final winner doesn’t look handicapped out of it from 8 lb higher, but Coolanly caught the eye on his handicap debut in the Martin Pipe Handicap at the same meeting, just caught a bit further back than the principals when the race began to develop. The former Irish point winner looks on a fair mark on the pick of his form and, having run well here in the past (good effort in the Top Novices’ Hurdle last season), and bred to stay this trip (brother to 25f-winner Bronco Billy), a big run looks on the cards.
Angels Breath – Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, 14:25 Aintree
Ballymore fifth Brewin’Upastorm, the exciting Ubrigado, and EBF Final runner-up One For Rosie are all respected, but Angels Breath is fancied to get over his Cheltenham Festival disappointment in style. He was well backed in the lead up to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but ran below expectations when seventh to Klassical Dream, possibly finding the race coming too soon after a rushed preparation, though it’s also worth pointing out that he suffered trouble in running and made quite a bad mistake three out. He should have learned plenty from that experience, and is fancied to get back on track here with the longer trip expected to suit this former point winner (who is also a brother to the 21f winner Outofthisworld).
Lalor – Maghull Novices’ Chase, 15:00 Aintree
Lalor has plenty to prove after running so badly in the Arkle that he was surely amiss, but there’s always been a feeling that – despite winning a Grade 2 at Cheltenham on his chasing debut – the Gloucestershire track isn’t ideal, and that he is at his best on flat tracks. That’s borne out somewhat by his excellent record at both Wincanton and this venue; indeed, he has won at each of the last two Grand National Festivals, taking his form to a new level on each occasion, most notably when bouncing back from a Betfair Hurdle flop to win the Top Novices’ Hurdle here 12 months ago. He’s fancied to revive once more, at the main expense of Arkle second and fourth, Us And Them and Clondaw Castle, and the unbeaten Destrier.
Pleasant Company – Grand National, 17:15 Aintree
All of the focus on this year’s Grand National has been on the returning hero Tiger Roll, whose form this year means he could easily repeat last year’s heroics, but I’m a little concerned that he’s not the biggest and that the extra weight on his back may hinder his chances more than the strapping Pleasant Company, who only went down by a head 12 months ago. Willie Mullins’ charge has not been in great nick so far this season, but the Grand National has never been a race where recent form has been paramount, and it’s more important to me that his campaign has been geared around this third run in the race. The recent rain won’t be any concern, and – having jumped so well a year ago – a similar performance may see him add a second win in the race for his trainer.
Recommended Lucky 15
Coolanly at 11/1 in the Grade 3 Handicap, 13:45 Aintree
Angels Breath at 11/4 in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, 14:25 Aintree
Lalor at 4/1 in the Maghull Novices’ Chase, 15:00 Aintree
Pleasant Company at 16/1 in the Grand National, 17:15 Aintree
This Lucky 15 pays over £6,500 to a £1 unit stake if all horses win with Betfair.
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