NOBLE YEATS will have to cart an extra 19lb to defend his Grand National crown – but that might not stop him.
Surprisingly, last year’s easy winner is not top weight given how much he seems to have improved this season.
He could even head to Aintree as the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner – and bid to be the first horse since Golden Miller in 1934 to pull off the double.
Emmet Mullins’ stayer is only eight and is clearly still on the upgrade.
He jumps for fun and we know he loves the track.
He looks the right favourite at around the 10-1 mark. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him to make the frame at least.
It used to be a strict no-no to carry more than 11st in the National. But those days are gone with six winners since 2009 carrying that burden.
So the 11st allocated to GAILLARD DU MESNIL makes him a cracking each-way bet.
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He is one of many options all-conquering Willie Mullins has for Aintree.
Gaillard Du Mesnil is big favourite for the National Hunt Chase at next month’s Festival but there’s a full month gap to the National so it’s not out of the question he could run in both races.
He was third in the Irish National last year and is a Grade 1 winner. He would have a big chance at these weights. The bookies are going 20-1 which looks too big.
Corals are expecting Ireland to continute their recent domination of the race and the bookies are offering 4-11.
The Brits are 2-1 to stop the rot with their big hope Corach Rambler fancied to go well.
He’s trained by National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell and he’s long had this as his target and 10st 5lb looks very fair.
But he was behind Le Milos and REMASTERED in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and I’d love to see David Pipe’s fine chaser have a crack at this challenge.
He’s entered at Kempton this weekend but doesn’t have any confirmed target at Cheltenham next month.
I hope Pipe swerves the Festival and goes for this £1million Aintree marathon instead.
He stays well and has a fantastic attitude that means he’s usually in the frame over fences.
He has a hurdle win at Aintree on his CV so the flat track should suit.
The handicapper has been fair with 10st 10lb and he looks a solid bet at 25-1.
But we need to face facts and the raiders are likely to fill the placings.
Looking for an Irish contender at a price, DELTA WORK ran well for a long way when third last season.
He’s 5lb lower and his class can see him into the placings again. There is plenty of 25-1 for the Gordon Elliott hope.
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