Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool

Strong Irish Presence at Head of Market for the Grand National

The Grand National will remain out of reach for Nicky Henderson after the champion trainer’s representative Gold Present was not among the 40 declarations for Saturday’s Aintree spectacular.

Henderson, who went closest to winning the race with Zongalero and The Tsarevich who were second in 1979 and 1987 respectively, opted not to declare Gold Present – meaning the Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches sneaks in at the foot of the pack.

Minella Rocco had been slated to head the weights, but the intended mount of 188BET’s National Hunt blogger Noel Fehily has been declared a non-runner.

“It’s purely ground related,” Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, said per At The Races. “He’s just not as good in soft-heavy ground.

“It’s a real shame as he’s been aimed at this for a long time, but there’s no point him running on that ground.”

Thunder And Roses will take the place of Minella Rocca in the field, as he was first reserve at the declaration stage. JJ Slevin will take the reins on Mouse Morris’ charge.

As always, the Grand National has an open look to it and it’s congested at the top of the market.

188BET have four horses vying for favouritism at the 10/1 mark – Tiger Roll, Total Recall, Anibale Fly and Blaklion.

Three of those; Tiger Roll, Total Recall and Anibale Fly, are trained in Ireland – as is the fifth favourite and this week’s gamble Baie Des Iles. The Irish did extremely well in the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and it appears there’s a feeling that a few of their runners could have a few pounds in hand in a bid to give Ireland a seventh win in the Grand National this century.

The home charge is headed by the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Blaklion, and victory would be a family affair as the trainer’s son Sam will be in the saddle aboard last year’s fourth.

The Last Samuri has twice been placed in the race and is a 14/1 shot with 188BET to give trainer Kim Bailey a second win in the race after Mr Frisk in 1990. Soft underfoot conditions would certainly be an advantage to the 10-year-old.

With last year’s winner One For Arthur an absentee, it’s been left to Seeyouatmidnight an Captain Redbeard to fly the flag for Scotland. There’s an interesting storyline with regard to Sandy Thomson’s horse Seeyouatmidnight, as only this week he was bought by David and Patricia Thompson. They famously pulled off the same trick with Party Politics in 1992. The stamina-laden 10-year-old can be backed at 14/1 with 188BET.

Captain Redbeard is another horse with stamina to spare and the Stuart Coltherd-trained nine-year-old was a winner on heavy ground last time out. He is an 18/1 shot with 188BET.

The Dutchman represents Gold Cup-winning trainer Colin Tizzard and he’s been the subject of sustained support and is now a 20/1 shot with 188BET.

Whether you fancy a favourite or an outsider, there’s incentive to back your selection with 188BET who are offering the superb concession of each-way terms all the way down to eighth place.