Grand National Meeting – Day One Preview

We preview the opening day of the Grand National Festival.

The seven race card begins with four consecutive Group One clashes including the highly prestigious Bowl Chase and Aintree Hurdle.

Don’t forget any non-runners you can keep up-to-date via our Non-runners tool

We have detailed run through of every race, including our picks and also from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann.


1.45pm Manifesto Novices’ Chase (G1) 2m 3f 200y £100, 000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
6 La Bague Au Roi 13/8

W Greatrex / R Johnson
2 Glen Forsa 7/2
M R Channon / J J Burke
3 Kalashnikov 4/1
Miss Amy Murphy / Jack Quinlan
4 Mengli Khan 8/1
G Elliott / J W Kennedy
1 Bags Groove 9/1
H Fry / Sean Bowen
5 Spiritofthegames 9/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton

TGT says: Some very good horses in the opener but we go with Kalashnikov to land it

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: La Bague Au Roi is unbeaten in her four starts over fences and she bypassed Cheltenham in order to be fresh and well for Aintree. The mare (7/4 favourite with BetVictor) receives 7lbs from the geldings but I have been looking forward to seeing Kalashnikov (1.45) step up in trip and believe today’s additional half-mile will see him in a better light.

I am prepared to put a line though his poor Sandown run behind Glen Forsa on his penultimate start when he looked ill at ease going right-handed. The selection had not been asked a question when brought down in the Arkle at Cheltenham last month and I feel he can reverse Sandown form with Glan Forsa who was an early casualty at the Festival. Kalashnikov is 4/1 at BetVictor and is a fascinating runner in what is a cracking start to the meeting.

2.20pm Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (G1) 2m 209y £100, 000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
2 Band of Outlaws 7/4

Joseph P O’Brien / J J Slevin
7 Pentland Hills 2/1
N J Henderson / Nico de Boinville
5 Fakir D’Oudairies 4/1
Joseph P O’Brien / M P Walsh
4 Christopher Wood 11/1
P F Nicholls / H Cobden
6 Fanfan Du Seuil 20/1
T R George / P J Brennan
8 Song For Someone 25/1
T Symonds / Aidan Coleman
1 Adjali 33/1
N J Henderson / D A Jacob
3 Beat The Judge 40/1
G L Moore / Joshua Moore
9 Statuario 100/1
P Bowen / Sean Bowen

TGT says: Fakir D’Oudairies gets our nod in a very competitive second race

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Defi Du Seuil did the Triumph Hurdle/Doom Bar Anniversary Hurdle double two years ago and Nicky Henderson’s Pentland Hills is 6/4 favourite with BetVictor as he bids to double up in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle. The market leader is two from two over timber and will be a tough nut to crack having overcome a bad blunder at the first at the Festival.

Band Of Outlaws (2.20) did us a favour when landing the Fred Winter last month and I feel he will love today’s conditions. Preference for Joseph O’Brien’s Irish raider (7/4 at BetVictor) is marginal in what looks a match between the Festival winners.

2.50pm Betway Bowl Chase (G1) 3m 210y £190,000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
3 Clan Des Obeaux 5/2

P F Nicholls / H Cobden
5 Kemboy 5/2
W P Mullins / R Walsh
2 Bristol De Mai 7/2
N A Twiston-Davies / D A Jacob
6 Road To Respect 9/2
N Meade / S W Flanagan
4 Elegant Escape 18/1
C L Tizzard / T J O’Brien
1 Balko Des Flos 28/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore

TGT says: Bristol De Mai is a class act, we love him – he gets the nod here

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Clan Des Obeaux will appreciate this sharper test having looked a non-stayer in the Gold Cup last time. Having studied the race again yesterday morning I did feel, however, that Paul Nicholls’ King George winner does favour racing right-handed and he is reluctantly overlooked. There is a strong Irish challenge and I think Road To Respect (2.50) can reverse Leopardstown form over Christmas with Kemboy.

The selection can give the odd fence a nudge, but he looked ready for a step back up in trip when third behind Frodon in the Ryanair Chase last month. The selection is 5/1 with BetVictor and can reward each way support.

3.25pm Betway Aintree Hurdle (G1) 2m 4f £250,000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
2 Buveur D’Air 4/5

N J Henderson / B J Geraghty
4 Faugheen 6/1 
W P Mullins / R Walsh
5 Melon 9/1
W P Mullins / P Townend
8 Supasundae 9/1
Mrs J Harrington / R M Power
9 Verdana Blue 12/1
N J Henderson / Nico de Boinville
3 Ch’tibello 18/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton
6 Silver Streak 20/1
Evan Williams / Adam Wedge
7 Summerville Boy 28/1
T R George / J J Burke
1 Brain Power 33/1
N J Henderson / Aidan Coleman

TGT says: Buveur D’Air is the class act and will bring it home here

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Buveur D’Air (3.25) lost his Champion Hurdle crown when coming down at halfway last month but won this corresponding race over an additional half-mile two years ago and he is taken to return to winning ways. Nicky Henderson’s duel former Champion is 5/6 with BetVictor and he should get a good tow into the race with Faugheen – another former Champion Hurdler – likely to go hard from the front.

4.05pm Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase GNC 2m 5f 19y £45,000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
19 Road To Rome 7/2
J J O’Shea / Mr S Waley-Cohen
4 Burning Ambition 9/2
Pierce Power / Mr Derek O’Connor
26 Ucello Conti 8/1
G Elliott / Mr J J Codd
12 Kruzhlinin 10/1
G Elliott / Mr B O’Neill
20 Seefood 12/1
Justin Landy / Miss C R Crane
25 Top Wood 14/1
Miss Kelly Morgan / Miss T Worsley
23 Sir Jack Yeats 16/1
Richard Spencer / Mr James King
27 Wonderful Charm 16/1
P F Nicholls / Mr W Biddick
2 Balnaslow 18/1
G J McKeever / Mr M J O’Hare
3 Bear’s Affair 20/1
Philip Rowley / Mr Alex Edwards
14 Mr Mix 20/1
S C Robinson / Mr Stuart Robinson
18 Road To Riches 20/1
D M Christie / Mr D Maxwell
13 Mr Mercurial 28/1
W B Ramsay / Mr W B Ramsay
8 Dineur 33/1
M Bowen / Mr P Bryan
10 Greensalt 33/1
W H Easterby / Mr W Easterby
1 Asockastar 50/1
Daniel Bourne / Mr P W Mullins
17 Pass The Hat 50/1
Miss S Rippon / Miss S Rippon
5 Champagne West 66/1
T M Frost / Miss L M Pinchin
6 Coastal Tiep 66/1
S R B Crawford / Mr B G Crawford
22 Shimla Dawn 66/1
Mrs C Drury / Miss E Todd
9 Gallery Exhibition 100/1
P W Mason / Mr G Disney
11 Just Cause 100/1
J P Owen / Mr J Andrews
24 Starkie 125/1
Anthony Ward-Thomas / Mr Martin McIntyre
7 Crazy Jack 150/1
Mrs A R Hewitt / Mr G Crow
15 Never Complain 150/1
Mrs F Marshall / Mr Charlie Marshall
16 Numbercruncher 150/1
David O’Brien / Mr T Gillard
21 Shantou Magic 150/1
W B Ramsay / Mr N Phillips

TGT says: Sir Jack Yeats looks good value for each-way

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Road To Rome (4.00) jumped fast and straight when making all at Haydock on his penultimate start but he did go out to his right on a number of occasions in the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ last time. I feel he holds outstanding claims over the National fences this afternoon and he gets the each way vote at 4/1 with BetVictor who are paying five places.

4.40pm Red Rum Handicap Chase (G3) 1m 7f 176y £90,000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
8 Eamon An Cnoic 5/1

D Pipe / T Scudamore
3 Lady Buttons 15/2
P A Kirby / Thomas Dowson
1 Diego Du Charmil 8/1
P F Nicholls / H Cobden
10 Brelan D’As 8/1
P F Nicholls / B J Geraghty
17 Azzuri 9/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton
4 Theinval 10/1
N J Henderson / J McGrath
13 Moon Over Germany 10/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
2 Forest Bihan 16/1
B Ellison / B S Hughes
5 Whatswrongwithyou 16/1
N J Henderson / Nico de Boinville
15 Movie Legend 16/1
Mrs L Wadham / L P Aspell
7 Champagne At Tara 18/1
Jonjo O’Neill / Jonjo O’Neill Jr.
11 Mcgroarty 20/1
Dr R D P Newland / Sam Twiston-Davies
14 Adrrastos 20/1
Jamie Snowden / Aidan Coleman
18 R’evelyn Pleasure 20/1
S O O’Brien / D Meyler
12 Cracking Find 25/1
Mrs S J Smith / Danny Cook
16 Molineaux 33/1
C L Tizzard / Sean Bowen
6 Theflyingportrait 50/1
Jennie Candlish / Sean Quinlan
9 Demi Sang 50/1
B Haslam / R P McLernon

TGT says: Azzuri looks a good solid selection for us here

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Lady Buttons (4.40) is equally effective over hurdles or fences and I hope this consistent mare can land the Red Rum Chase for Phil Kirby. The each way selection is 9/1 with BetVictor – who are betting 5 places on this valuable handicap – and she should have the race run to suit as there is plenty of pace in the race.

5.15pm Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NHF Race (G2) 2m 209y £45,000

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
9 Minella Melody 3/1
H De Bromhead / Mr P W Mullins
15 The Glancing Queen 11/2
A King / Wayne Hutchinson
11 Misty Whisky 7/1
H Fry / Sean Bowen
3 Daylight Katie 8/1
G Elliott / Mr D H Dunsdon
10 Miss Heritage 9/1
D R C Elsworth / H Cobden
16 Timetochill 16/1
Miss Kelly Morgan / Ross Chapman
17 Whitehotchillifili 16/1
H Fry / R Johnson
5 Farne 18/1
N B King / Aidan Coleman
20 Who What When 18/1
M McGrath / Joshua Moore
4 Emmas Joy 20/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton
12 Mrs Hyde 20/1
F O’Brien / P J Brennan
19 Eyren 22/1
D Skelton / Bridget Andrews
13 Shantewe 25/1
Jamie Snowden / G Sheehan
18 Eyes Right 28/1
A King / D A Jacob
7 Hawthorn Cottage 33/1
Miss Amy Murphy / Lucy K Barry
8 Kissesforkatie 33/1
J Scott / Nick Scholfield
1 Briery Express 66/1
Noel Williams / L P Aspell
2 Dares To Dream 66/1
P A Kirby / Sean Quinlan
6 Giving Back 66/1
A King / Tom Cannon
14 Stainsby Girl 66/1
D W Whillans / Callum Whillans

TGT says: Miss Heritage is the one who gets our vote in the last race of the day

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Minella Melody (5.15) has won both starts by an aggregate distance of 22L and she is taken to land the listed mares’ bumper for Henry De Bromhead. The selection may have most to fear from fellow Irish raider Daylight Katie who improved to win convincingly at Gowran Park for Gordon Elliot last time.

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