Monday, we start with the Grand National. Last year’s winner Tiger Roll features among 69 horses left in Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National at Aintree following the confirmation stage. At Ludlow, With an 11th championship on the horizon, Paul Nicholls reached another major landmark in his remarkable training career when the victory of Dr. Sanderson in the 2m5f novice hurdle proved to be his 3,000th winner under both codes in Britain. Kim Bailey was on target with Cresswell Legend. It was good news for our members. Cresswell Legend was advised to our members (2.5pts win) at 6/4. At Chelmsford, the feature race went to Balladeer under Hayley Turner. At Newcastle, El Misk was on target for John Gosden.
Tuesday, we start at Musselburgh there was a double for Graham Lee with Proper Beau and Tanasoq. At Lingfield, Cieren Fallon was on target with Global Tango. At Wolverhampton, Blood Eagle was on target for Andrew Balding.
Wednesday, at Leopardstown. There was a four-timer for Dermot Weld with Tarnawa, Tinandali, Imaging, and Titanium Sky. At Wincanton, Enola Gay was on target for Venetia Williams. At Market Rasen, there was a double for Nigel and Sam Twiston -Davies with Larch Hill and Earlofcotswolds.
Thursday, I will focus on Aintree. Kalashnikov presented trainer Amy Murphy with a first Grade One success in the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase, La Bague Au Roi lost little in defeat. Pentland Hills followed up his Triumph Hurdle victory with a gritty display to hold off the front-running Fakir d’Oudairies in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. Pentland Hills will surely make into a Champion Hurdle contender for Nicky Henderson. Supasundae banished Jessica Harrington’s fears that history might be about to repeat itself as he instead ensured she outdid her close friend Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'air in the Betway Aintree Hurdle. I have to say it looks like Buveur D'air is a light of other days over hurdles.
Kemboy atoned for his early mishap at Cheltenham to run out a dominant winner of the Betway Bowl Chase for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins. I must admit I did not see this performance coming at all. Kemboy has to be a serious contender for top prizes next season. Clan Des Obeaux ran fine in the second place however never looked like winning. The Foxhunters over the Grand National fences saw Top Wood take the verdict over Burning Ambition who looked sure to win. The Red Rum handicap chase went to Moon Over Germany for Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead. Champagne At Tara advised to our members (0.5pt each way) 20/1 placed (rule 4 deduction 10%). The bumper went to The Glancing Queen for Alan King. Daylight Katie advised to our members (0.5pt each way) 12/1 placed.
Friday, its Aintree again. Barry Geraghty will miss his ride on Anibale Fly in the Randox Health Grand National after suffering a broken leg in a fall from Peregrine Run in the Topham Chase at Aintree on Friday. Ruby Walsh led his rivals a merry dance once again when making all the running on Min in the JLT Chase. There was a double for Gordon Elliott with Three Musketeers and Felix Desjy. Lostintranslation ran out a very easy winner of the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase. Topofthegame was never really going, he may have been gone over the top. I also think he did not like the track. Cadmium led his rivals a merry dance in making nearly every yard of the running over the Grand National fences in the Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase. Janika advised to our members (1pt each way) 7/1 placed. The Sefton novice hurdle went in brilliant style to Champ. I thought three miles would not suit, it, in fact, looks like this is the making of Champ in fact. The bumper went to McFabulous for Paul Nicholls.
I will give Dundalk a brief mention. There was a winner for our good friend Cathal McGuckin with his beloved Wild Shot. Congrats CJ from all of us to you. There was a win for Alfredo Arcano boosting our own Stanhope's form. Beau Warrior made it five wins in a row for Adrian McGuinness.
Saturday, we start at Aintree. Only one place to start. Tiger Roll raced into the history books as he became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back renewals of the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. It is 46 years since Red Rum claimed the first of his three victories in the world’s most famous steeplechase — successfully defending his crown in 1974 before adding a third in 1977. Trained by Gordon Elliott, Tiger Roll appeared to hold outstanding claims of claiming a second victory on Merseyside, has looked better than ever in winning his two most recent starts in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan and the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase — his fourth Cheltenham Festival win.
Davy Russell had the 4-1 favourite well positioned throughout the four-and-a-quarter-mile journey and after moving to the front, he found plenty on the long run-in to claim a historic two-and-three-quarter-length victory over 66-1 chance Magic Of Light. Rathvinden (8-1) was another two and a quarter lengths back in third, with another 11 lengths to Walk In The Mill (25-1) fourth. Winning owner Michael O’Leary said: “It’s unbelievable. It’s a phenomenal training performance by Gordon. It’s brilliant that he keeps bringing this horse back at Cheltenham better than ever and Aintree better than ever.“And what a ride by Davy — fantastic. It’s unbelievable, to win two Grand Nationals is just incredible.“It’s a great result for the punters as well.”
I have been watching the Grand National since I was a toddler the first one I can clearly remember is Ben Nevis. I watched the race with my father on Saturday who loves the race more than any sporting event. Dad was playing a football match during one Grand National he brought a transistor radio into the goal (he was a keeper) sadly for Dads teammates he conceded twice during the race. I never thought I would see a horse do what Red Rum did. Tiger Roll did it on Saturday. At the end of the race, I was just delighted for Tiger Roll, Davy Russell, and Gordon Elliott.
I have been lucky enough to have been to Aintree for the National seven times. Every time I walked the course, it's an incredible place. The last stop is always Red Rum's grave he saved the Grand National single handily, it was nearly gone. It is an emotional experience. I stand at the grave thinking only for Red Rum I and my generation, as well as those afterwards, would have never had the chance to experience Aintree. Red Rum is one of those horses from the sport who is a complete icon. Red Rum jumped 150 fences at Aintree winning three times and placing second twice. I never knew Red Rum although it feels like I did. Every year on BBC, they would interview Ginger McCain and then show Red Rum it was wonderful. I really hope that Tiger Roll can bring Racing to the mainstream in a positive manner. It is under increasing attack in the UK from people who will not be happy until our wonderful sport is abolished. Tiger Roll, with his huge heart, courage, and ability can hopefully wrestle the narrative back in our favor. If Tiger Roll goes for the third I will make sure I am there.
The rest of the Aintree card. Aux Ptits Soins took the opening handicap hurdle for Dan Skelton. Reserve Tank dug deep to cause an upset in the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle for Colin Tizzard. Ornua got his season back on track with a dominant front-running display in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase for Henry De Bromhead. Ornua was advised to our members (1pt each way) 5/1. If The Cap Fits emerged victorious after a pulsating climax to the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle. Roksana and Apples Jade lost nothing in defeat in what was a fantastic horse race. Kildisart took the handicap chase in great style. Oldgrangewood advised to our members (1pt each way) 11/1 placed. Chief Justice took the finale for Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd.
Sunday, we start at Fairyhouse. There was a double for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh with Great White Shark and Mister Blue Sky. The most impressive winner was Gypsy Island who bolted up in the bumper by eleven lengths. At Cork, the feature race the Noblesse Stakes went to Cimeara for Joseph O'Brien. The one mile two furlongs handicap went to Wentwood for Dermot Weld. See Of Rome ran a cracker for Damian English in third, his turn will be coming sooner rather than later.