Grand National Tips | 8th April 2017

Graeme Johnston takes us through the best bets for Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.

17:15 Aintree | The Grand National | ITV1

The Grand National is the most famous horse race in the world and our sport becomes front-page news for 24 hours.

The gruelling race over four and-a-quarter miles, jumping 30 iconic fences, is the most unique test in sport and everyone has an opinion on who will win… and I’m no different.

People tend to look at trends for this race and depending on who you speak to, they look for different things. Personally, I want an experienced chaser, a sound jumper and a horse who has the potential for further improvement too.

This looks a typically open renewal but there is one I really like.

One For Arthur won the Betfred Classic and was immediately aimed at the Grand National by connections. There was some doubt that he would make the 40 runners but with horses dropping out and the handicapper raising him, he easily made the cut.

He has course form, will stay this trip and looks a solid option on Saturday. My one concern is if the ground dries up, as he does like a softer surface. However, he has winning form on good ground and as long as he doesn’t find the pace too hot early on he is my idea of the winner.

Vicente won the Scottish National last year and this has been his target for the season since that day. He has had a quiet season so far and if you take his form at face value he’s an outsider but I think we will see a very different horse and he will be involved in the finish.

Blaklion is a classy sort and has a Cheltenham Festival win to his name in the RSA Chase. He stays very well and has plenty of experience in big fields. He ran well in the Hennesy earlier in the season and put up a huge effort under top weight when second in a Grand National trial last time out. He is another who should give each-way backers a run for their money.

The Last Samurai was second in this race last season and has been aimed at a repeat at this again all year. He loves these fences and has been placed on both attempts in races over these obstacles. He has a huge weight here and this may prove too much of an ask but his form here means he has to be respected.

Highland Lodge joined the James Moffat yard two winters ago and has only been seen three times since. Two of those occasions were over the National fences and he has a great record at this course. He is 11 now but with low mileage in the past few years he is likely to trained to the second for this race and I think he will run his heart out on Saturday.

So there you have it, my idea of the 1-2-3-4-5. As ever anything can happen in this race but I think One For Arthur looks the one to beat in this year’s renewal.

Graeme Johnston’s Grand National 1-5

  1. One For Arthur
  2. Vicente
  3. Blaklion
  4. The Last Samurai
  5. Highland Lodge

* Remember we’re paying SIX each-way places at 188BET