There are other races and other horses to consider at Aintree today, notably the brilliant Thistlecrack (3.40) and the almost-as-brilliant Douvan (3.00), but we all know that today is basically all about one race. The race. The race that everyone, however flimsy their interest in racing, knows. The race that gets even haggard old cynics who think they’ve seen it all before as excited as they were when watching their first National. 1982, Grittar, Hard Outlook, Loving Words (vague recollections of earlier Nationals may apply).
To get you all in the mood, here are (some of) the thoughts of the peerless Lee Mottershead in today’s Racing Post, to whip you into a frothy frenzy of anticipation.
The sight of 40 horses charging towards that first green fence like a Liverpudlian light brigade delivers a thrill that is unique. The Grand National is embedded deep within our cultural DNA and this afternoon, in front of a worldwide audience of 600 million, the wonderful old race has the potential to write one of its most special stories.
You love the National, else you wouldn’t be here. What do you fancy? Where’s your money going? Will it be Nicholls? Will it be Mullins? Will it be Sherwood, Bailey or O’Neill? Will it be chips or jacket spuds? Will it be salad or frozen peas? We’ll have to wait and see. Until we do, get in touch and share your Aintree thoughts through the comment facility. You can’t tweet me because I’m not on Twitter, but don’t let that hold you back. Why don’t you email me at email@example.com, and if you don’t disappear into the darkest recesses of my spam folder I’ll broadcast your comments here. This blog needs you. Talk to me. Please.
If you haven’t decided where your money is going today, here follow some brilliant Racing Post video options to help you make up your mind. I quite fancy The Last Samuri and Le Reve, but don’t let that put you off.
“We couldn’t have him any fitter. He was a good novice a few seasons back and Ruby [Walsh] told me if I was ever going to have a National horse then this fellow was the one. I hope he’s right.”
Dad's done miracles to get this horse back. He [Ubak] was a very impressive winner round here three years ago but has had issues since then, and it's been a very careful process to get him back to the racecourse. He went chasing earlier in the year; it didn't quite pan out how we had hoped, although he ran well a couple of times, so we thought we'd switch him back to hurdles for the end of the campaign and he's done us proud.
Steveo - tell me how the rain-soaked ground is likely to change things? which bets do I need to rip up now. What should I be backing?Jonat 4:12 PM