ITV Racing Tips: Check out our best bets on Grand National day at Aintree
There's a stunning afternoon of top quality National Hunt racing at Aintree on Saturday as the Grand National takes centre stage at 17:15 in front of the ITV Racing cameras and it's set to be a real crescendo to a cracking card at the Merseyside venue. Our man Steve Chambers previews all the live ITV action and picks out his best bets for Grand National day...
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14:25 Aintree - Village Hotels Handicap Hurdle
There's a hugely competitive 3m 149y contest at 14:25 on Saturday and the top-weighted GOOD TIME JONNY will be looking to land the Cheltenham Festival/Aintree double as having stormed to victory in the Pertemps Final last month the Tony Martin-trained raider will look to strike gold once again.
He stormed to an emphatic three-and-a-quarter length victory in the Pertemps and having been kept out the back for most of the way he produced a barnstorming finish to rocket clear of a hugely competitive field. He's been handed a 5lbs rise for that win, so this is much tougher of top weight, but he shaped like he could be more than capable of going in again and while the likes of West Balboa and Mill Green are notable rivals it's the Irish raider that can reign supreme.
Good Time Jonny
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15:35 Aintree - Liverpool Hurdle
A lot of these were seen competing in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham last month with Sire Du Berlais being the shock winner of that Grade 1 prize and Gordon Elliott's charge will be looking to down his adversaries again here and having won the Liverpool Hurdle last season the veteran performer has to be respected.
Dual Stayers' Hurdle winner Flooring Porter will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Cheltenham and is of interest, as is Home By The Lee, who was another seen down the field at Cheltenham. However, the one that catches the eye is CHAMP, who bypassed Cheltenham in favour of this and he could well spring a little shock. A top notch chaser and hurdler on his day, he was well beaten in third last year, but he hasn't been seen since December, so he should be firing on all cylinders for this event and he could well get the better of some battle-hardened rivals who may still be feeling the effect of last month's festival.
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16:15 Aintree - William Hill Handicap Chase
There's a hugely competitive event before the Grand National taking place at 16:15 and the likes of Nassalam, Midnight River and Shakem Up'arry are all fancied to go close in the William Hill Handicap Chase, but it's the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained BEAUPORT that can bound to glory here.
Seen competing earlier in the season against subsequent Grade 1 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase winner The Real Whacker at Cheltenham, Beauport kicked off his chasing career with a Listed win at Carlisle back in October beating some smart performers. The decent hurdler has failed to get his head in front since, but he ran well for a long way in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival before tiring late on. He lost a shoe that day, so that could have hindered his chances and the drop back in trip here should play to his strengths and he can claim the win for the Naunton yard.
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17:15 Aintree - Randox Grand National Handicap Chase
A hugely competitive field will do battle in the 2023 Grand National at 17:15 and all eyes will be on whether Noble Yeats can emulate Tiger Roll and Red Rum by winning back-to-back renewals, but he's much higher in the weights this year and faces a stiff test. Long-term favourite Corach Rambler was sublime at Cheltenham winning the Ultima for the second year in a row, but he could find himself too far back in the middle of the race and may struggle to get on terms.
One contender with previous experience is DELTA WORK, who finished an excellent third in the 2022 renewal and off 1lb lower in 2023 the Gordon Elliott-trained raider could bound to glory here. He warmed up for the event with a fine win in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last month, where he got the better of stablemate Galvin and that should have him cherry ripe for this event. He came into this contest last year on the back of Cross Country glory, so he has shown that he can run a fine race after Cheltenham and he could just have too much class for most of his rivals.
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