The ShunterOur top tipster, Andrew Mount takes you through the day one card at Aintree's Grand National meeting and gives his thoughts and tips for each of the seven races. Check out the main contenders and his selections below, plus A Bet £10 - Get £20 Free Bet At Boylesports


1.45pm – SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

THE SHUNTER, a comfortable winner of the Stable Plate at the Cheltenham festival, looks worth a shot at this 2m4f Grade 1 contest. The sole Irish raider in the field, trainer Emmet Mullins is eight from 28 with his runners in Britain for a small profit of £3.23 to a £1 level stake at SP. His prominent style will be an asset and he shouldn’t be underestimated.

HITMAN has won two of his three completed starts since joining Paul Nicholls and was unlucky to bump into Allmankind in the other. HIs jumping still gives cause for concern and he could be found out by the difficult fences and the presence of other pacesetters.

FUSIL RAFFLES, runner-up to Chantry House in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham festival, is yet another potential pace angle. He’ll appreciate the small field and has figures of 1111P1 (5-6) in fields of six or fewer runners.

Selection: The Shunter


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2.20pm – Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)

MONMIRAL is unbeaten in four starts if we include his French form and was very impressive at Haydock in February. This track should suit.

ADAGIO failed to settle when runner-up to Quilixios in the Triumph Hurdle and holds obvious claims.

JOHN LOCKE made a pleasing debut for Dan Skelton when fourth to Tritonic in Grade 2 company at Kempton and wouldn’t be out of this.

Pace angle Fiveandtwenty has a great record in small fields, recording figures of 111365111 (6-9) in fields of ten or less, improving to 111 (3-3) over hurdles only. Five of his six wins have come on right-handed tracks but he won’t be disgraced.

Selection: Monmiral


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2.50pm – Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1)

CLAN DES OBEAUX contested the Cheltenham Gold Cup prior to placing in the last two renewals and will be fresher this time having missed the festival. The first-time cheekpieces are an interesting addition.

WAITING PATIENTLY seems to find one or two too good whatever trip he races over and it’s likely to be more of the same here.

CLONDAW CASTLE tends to come good in the second half of the peak jumps season, winning six of his 12 starts from January until April for a profit of £14.83 to a £1 level stake at SP, including a three from three haul in February. His stable remains in great form and he won well at Kempton last time on his first start over three miles since his point-to-point days.

MILITARIAN has a huge amount to find at the weights – he’s rated 133 compared to Native River’s 170 – but trainer Andrew Martin has a fine record with his horses at this time of year and this best-fresh 11-year-old could sneak into the first four on his first start since December.

Selection: Clondaw Castle

Danger: Clan Des Obeaux


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3.25pm – Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

JASON THE MILITANT bypassed the Champion Hurdle and Henry de Bromhead’s seven-year-old clocked a fast time when making all in Grade 3 company over 2m at Fairyhouse on his latest outing. He’s up in trip and the drying ground might not be ideal.

BREWIN’UPASTORM is two from two since reverting to hurdles and was impressive when accounting for McFabulous in Grade 2 company at Fontwell last time. He has course and distance form and looks to have been underrated in the betting.

MCFABULOUS tends to need his first couple of runs each season but has form figures on his third or subsequent start of 111112 (5-6). I was a little disappointed with his run behind Brewin’upastorm at Fontwell but he won the bumper here two years ago and may do better this time.

Selection: Brewin’upastorm

Danger: McFabulous


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4.05pm – Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase

BILLAWAY, beaten by a short head at Cheltenham, hasn’t finished outside of the first two for over two years. He probably paid for sitting too close to the strong pace last time (the winner and third came from midfield or further back) and he holds obvious claims.

CAT TIGER returned from wind surgery to score on his hunter chase debut at Leicester last month, his first start since pulling up in last season’s Albert Bartlett. His prominent running style will be an asset if taking to these fences.

LATENIGHTPASS fared second best of the prominent racers when fourth at Cheltenham. He has about 13 lengths to make up on Billaway but has never finished outside the first four and makes each-way appeal.

Selection: Latenightpass (each-way)

Dangers: Billaway, Cat Tiger


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4.40pm – Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

SAO needed the run when fourth at Hexham in October on his debut for Rebecca Menzies but has since record form figures of F1151 (3-5), with the fifth place excusable as his forcing style was totally unsuited to Newcastle Tapeta surface in a jumpers’ bumper. He could still be ahead of the handicapper.

MOON OVER GERMANY won this race in 2019 under Rachel Blackmore when it was last staged but may have been flattered by making the running on a day the Mildmay course was strongly favouring early pace. He’s 9lb higher this time around.

Donald McCain won this in 2016 and also saddled the 25-1 third in 2013. GAELIK COAST, who has failed to settle over 2m4f the last twice, will appreciate the cut back to 2m and likely very strong pace.

THE KING OF MAY has only had two runs over fences on ground quicker than soft, winning at Carlisle and finding only one too good when 11-1 at Newbury. He was only three-quarters of a length behind subsequent Grade 1 winner First Flow when third on heavy ground in the Castleford Chase and is another who could improve for a very strong gallop.

AIN’T MY FAULT only won a Class 4 novices’ handicap chase at Newcastle last time but this strong traveller looks set to improve for a big field/strong pace scenario and could be over-priced at around the 40-1 mark.

Selection: The King Of May

Dangers: Gaelik Coast, Ain’t My Fault, Sao


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5.15pm – Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Grade 2)

EILEENDOVER heads the market after three impressive wins, latterly in a race at Market Rasen in January that worked out well – third-placed Grangee won a Grade 2 mares’ bumper at Leopardstown next time before her a solid 18-1 fifth in the Champion Bumper and fourth-home Dragon Bones was a 40-1 winner in Listed company at Doncaster. She missed Cheltenham to wait for this and will likely be hard to beat.

ELLE EST BELLE fared best of the British-trained runners when third in the Champion Bumper at last month’s Cheltenham festival and was also best of those to come from off the pace. In the circumstances, it was a huge effort to finish seven lengths behind market leaders Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit.

MISS LAMB won at Newcastle and Wetherby before chasing home Eileendover when a 22-1 shot at Market Rasen. As mentioned above, that race worked out well though she may have benefitted from racing wide on the better ground.

Alan King has won this twice in recent years and he relies on FINEST VIEW, winner of a Polytrack bumper at Lingfield on her sole start. Winners of this race have usually had at least two runs and she may struggle to trouble the market principals.

TWEED SKIRT challenged on the slowest part of the track when third in Listed company at Sandown last time and Nicky Henderson’s filly could be the each-way value in the race.

Selection: Eileendover

Each-way alternative: Tweed Skirt


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