Grand National 2023 Preview: Back This 40/1 Shot For Aintree Glory
The eyes of the world will be on Aintree come Saturday evening as the planet's most famous horse race, the Grand National, gets underway. The race has changed immeasurably over the years and the quality of participants is now higher than ever. Here at HorseRacing.net we have tasked Billy Grimshaw with previewing the 40 runner bonanza, and he has a couple of horses he recommends keeping on side...
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There is no race quite like the Grand National. Racing fanatics who have had fancies for the race almost since the previous year's edition was concluded are dwarfed by once-a-year punters who have had a horse run for them every April in Liverpool for as long as they can remember. Chosen on name, jockey, colour and a myriad of other quirky factors, every horse in the field will have an army of thousands cheering them home.
Topping the Grand National Odds grids for 2023 is a Scottish representative in Corach Rambler. Lucinda Russell's charge has won at the Cheltenham Festival two years on the bounce now and comes to Aintree officially ten pounds well in. His stamina is without doubt and his run style could be both a blessing and a curse depending on how the race pans out. If the race is run at its usual frenetic pace he will definitely be a bigger price in-play as Derek Fox will keep his charge well back, which of course brings risks in every race but especially in the Grand National. If he times his finishing kick right however, he has a brilliant chance. Put it this way, if he is still in contention come the final obstacles it'll take a brilliant horse to go past him.
Noble Yeats of course won the race last year but faces a much stiffer task this year up a stone and a pound in the weights. He has improved again however and cannot be ruled out, while Delta Work and Galvin will clash again after their Cheltenham blockbuster. There are very few anyone can rule out with any certainty, and this is the trickiest race of the year to be tipping in, but we will give it a go and it is two Irish trainer raiders, but from very different stables, that are going to be carrying my cash.
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Our first bet to win the 2023 Grand National is the Willie Mullins-trained MR INCREDIBLE. He has been a tricky sort to train, indeed the master handler himself Henry De Bromhead couldn't get a tune out of him, but the switch to Closutton seems to have done the trick. His latest few efforts have screamed out Grand National horse to me and his trainer seems to agree, as when the weights were announced he was waxing lyrical about the chance this one must have carrying just 10 stone 4 pounds.
He is an out-and-out stayer who ran a lovely prep in the Kim Muir last time at Cheltenham, not given a particularly hard time but still picking his way through beaten rivals to finish in the frame. That was undoubtedly a run to get him cherry ripe for this contest and although as previously mentioned, there are plenty in here who will be well handicapped and fancying their chances, Mr Incredible's claims are superb.
He is still a young horse and with such a featherweight on his back I expect the test that the Grand National provides to be perfect for this horse, who has been a thinker in the past to put it mildly. Mullins of course has a strong hand but Mr Incredible is one of the picks of the bunch to my eye and he is a confident each-way pick with an outstanding win chance.
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The second and final tip will come as no surprise to those who have been keeping an eye on these pages for our Grand National thoughts. I am still keen to have VELVET ELVIS on-side, especially with the extra places now on offer from most if not all betting sites. I have been sweet on Tom Gibney's charge's chances all season and have been chipping away at him antepost, so I am pleasantly surprised to see his price is still holding up.
Last seen finishing a good second, with a classic tender ride, behind the re-opposing Any Second Now at Navan he will have a massive swing in the weights with that rival, and the extended trip at Aintree I think will suit. He is very experienced for a horse of such tender age and ran a cracking race in the Irish Grand National of 2022, before his early exuberance cost him and he weakened. Obviously that non-staying effort is not ideal for Aintree but he was just six years old at the time and his jumping was brilliant. He will settle better hopefully in this race and if his rider can keep a lid on the exuberance, he should be able to keep pitching.
Gibney has been aiming him at this race all year long and his win over Minella Crooner on his penultimate start, coupled with the second at Navan, strikes me as an ideal preparation for a young horse like this heading into the Grand National. His profile actually reminds me a lot of that of Noble Yeats heading into the race last season and with odds of 40/1 still available (although 33/1 is more widely available) he is the longshot bet I am recommending for the 2023 Grand National.
Velvet Elvis (EW)
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