Aintree Grand National Festival 2022 Tips: Ed Quigley’s Best Bets for the Week

Check out Ed Quigley's best bets for Aintree's Grand National festival.
Check out Ed Quigley's best bets for Aintree's Grand National festival.

What a week we have in store! Three days of top class action get underway in Liverpool on Thursday (4 in Augusta!) and Aintree's Grand National meeting rolls into town. With plenty of rain forecast throughout the week, we could end up with more 'soft' in the going description than anything else by Saturday, although with many forecasts giving mixed signals...

On we go, and with the assumption that there will be sufficient cut in the ground, there are few horses leaping off the page as potential value angles, with the propensity to shorten up significantly in the market. The action gets underway (13:45) with the Manifesto Novices' Chase, where I think the Colin Tizzard team have major claims with WAR LORD. The seven-year-old's form has taken off since going over the larger obstacles, winning three of his five starts over fences, and should relish any rain that falls with the step up to 2m4f for the first time over fences looking like a big tick in the box. He came up the Cheltenham Hill well to finish fourth behind Edwardstone, after looking outpaced on quicker ground than ideal. He could easily develop into a Ryanair horse next season in my view. 

Manifesto Novices' Chase
War Lord silk

War Lord

placed
Grand National Odds

The Aintree Bowl is at 14:55, and I think we could see another Colin Tizzard horse, ELDORADO ALLEN run well back up in trip. A winner of this season's Haldon Gold Cup, he was also victorious in the Denman Chase at Newbury on his penultimate start, before running a cracker to come third to the imperious Allaho in the Ryanair Chase. A flat track, and three miles look his bag, and he versatile in regards to underfoot requirements. He will be the each-way play for me here.

The Aintree Hurdle looks ultra competitive, and official figures there isn't a great deal separating many of the protagonists. MONMIRAL has a little bit to find on ratings, but comes here a fresh horse and gets the nod from me here. The bare result of his fourth-placed finish in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell in February doesn't tell the whole story; the five-year-old absolutely tanked round for 80% of the race, only to tire when he approached the hard yards. That was his first start on the comeback trail after injury, and naturally should strip a lot fitter for the outing. Rain won't be an issue, and he bolted up at this meeting 12 months ago. The Paul Nicholls representative should go well for each-way backers.

Aintree Bowl
Eldorado Allen silk

Eldorado Allen (EW)

lost
Aintree Hurdle
Monmiral silk

Monmiral (EW)

placed

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Onto Friday, and we have extremely tricky puzzles to solve, as well as the potential for some absolute blockbusters; we may get to see Jonbon strut his stuff without Constitution Hill to ruin his party, and the Mildmay Novices' Chase could be the race of the meeting if we can get Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor lining up against Cheltenham Festival scorer L'Homme Presse. 

As for wagers, I like the 'arriving fresh' angle, and in the Marsh Chase (Melling), I would be with the Ditcheat maestro once again and HITMAN, who I think makes appeal from an each-way perspective. In some senses he has been a little underwhelming this season, but has posted some good efforts in defeat, and hasn't had many hard scraps on his rather light CV. Paul Nicholls has kept a lid on him deliberately with this race in mind, where I think the combination of the step-up in trip and cut in the ground can see him right in the mx here. On official figures he doesn't have anywhere near as much to find as the market would lead you to believe, and being a confirmed runner from the camp, I can see his price heading south. In regards to the rest of the card, I think it will be powder dry until nearer the time. 

Marsh Chase
Hitman silk

Hitman (EW)

placed

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For the card on Saturday, it is a case of once bitten, twice 'not' shy, as THOMAS DARBY looks the stand out each-way selection in the Liverpool Hurdle. Back in February, I was really hoping that Olly Murphy swerved the Rendlesham, but he took his chance in bottomless ground and the plan backfired. Having swerved the Cheltenham Festival as a result of that no-show, he comes here a fresh horse and ought to be able to serve it up to some familiar counterparts. He's 16/1, and given that he wasn't beaten far when third in this assignment 12-months ago, he looks to have solid each-way claims once again here.

Even if the ground does go a little softer than ideal, SHAN BLUE looks too good to ignore in the Betway Handicap Chase. Cheltenham isn't his track, he wasn't good enough, and probably needed the run in the Ryanair, but on a flat track over 3m off 148, he must have every chance of defying that mark. The only thing which could see the whole plan unravel would be if the ground got really deep; but other than that there will be very little in the way of excuses for a horse, on the basis of his Charlie Hall non-completion threatened to look a 160+ individual. 

As far as the big one goes, FIDDLERONTHEROOF and KILDISART are already locked in the antepost book, and no doubt I will be adding to the tally nearer the occasion once I know exactly how underfoot conditions are likely to be riding. 

Enjoy the wonderful week of sport, and if one of my Fiddlerontheroof/Kildisart and Reed/Koepka combination doubles land - I might be trying to file this column next week from a very sunny location!

Liverpool Hurdle
Thomas Darby silk

Thomas Darby

lost
Betway Handicap Chase
Shan Blue silk

Shan Blue

placed

Aintree Selections:

Thursday

13:45 War Lord, 1pt win 5/2 (generally)
14:55 Eldorado Allen, 0.5pts e/w 13/2 (Hills)
15:30 Monmiral, 0.5pts e/w 9/1 (generally)

Friday

15:30 Hitman, 0.5pts e/w 10/1 (generally)

Saturday

15:35 Thomas Darby 0.5pts e/w 16/1 Hills
16:15 Shan Blue 1pt win 6/1 (Coral)

Grand National 2022
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