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Horse Racing

Aintree Grand National Meeting – Day One

Thursday 7th April 14:55

WhichBookie racing analyst Andrew Blair White provides a preview and betting tips for races at Aintree on Thursday 7th April.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Kemboy 5/15/1 Each Way
2.55 Aintree
Place BetPlace Bet
Porlock Bay 11/211/2 Each Way - 5 Places
4.05 Aintree
Place BetPlace Bet
Cousin Pascal 10/110/1 Each Way - 5 Places
4.05 Aintree
Place BetPlace Bet
Sky Pirate 16/116/1 Each Way - 5 Places
4.40 Aintree
Place BetPlace Bet
Naughtinesse 5/15/1 Each Way - 5 Places
5.15 Aintree
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 06/04/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (13:04 06/04/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.



Day One Preview - 2022 Aintree Grand National Festival - Andrew Blair White

Day One Preview – 2022 Aintree Grand National Festival – Andrew Blair White


The time has come for the Aintree Grand National meeting and for those like myself who love their jump racing, one has to appreciate these meetings and look forward to them with great anticipation. The first and second day of the action at Aintree has gotten progressively better throughout the last few years, and the standard of Grade 1 action looks good. Looking ahead to Day One, there are a few bets to be had throughout the card, including in some of the Grade 1s and the trickier handicap races. 

After a few tricky, no-bet Grade 1s to start the card off, I am looking to the 2.55 race for the first race to have a bet in, which is the Grade 1 3m1f Betway Bowl Chase. This race has produced a good field of 9 going to post and there are a lot of different form lines to make our way through. Protektorat is the clear standard bearer of the lot, having finished a superb third in the Gold Cup, and he won over this course and distance earlier in the year. However, he may be vulnerable to a fresher type and I can’t see past Kemboy in this race, for the all conquering combination of Mullins and Townend. Kemboy won this race back in 2019 in fine fashion and despite his recent form being patchy, if he can reproduce his run at Christmas time when behind Galvin and A Plus Tard, he should be right there. I don’t think there is a whole lot of pace in this race either, so he may have an easy enough time on the front end, and could make that pay on a course which suits that style of running. At a price of 5/1 with Paddy Power, he is an each way bet. 

I quite liked the look of Monmiral in the Aintree Hurdle, but I would have wanted a three place market for him, so I am willing to swerve. As a result, the Grand National fences are the next port of call with the Foxhunters race at 4.05 over 2m5f. These races can often be tricky to get to the bottom, so I have sided with two horses who I think can run above themselves. The first is last year’s Cheltenham Foxhunter winner, Porlock Bay – who decided against going to retain his crown in favor of coming to this race. Connections believe he might be better over this intermediate trip and on the balance of form, I think they are right. He is trained and ridden by Will Biddick, who has been one of the best amateurs in the British game in recent years. With conditions in his favor, and with the horse likely to come on leaps and bounds from his run at Bangor, he should take high rank in this race. At a price of 11/2 with Paddy Power, who are paying out 5 places, he looks a good bet. 

The other horse that should be backed in this race is last year’s winner, Cousin Pascal – who won impressively having been handy for the whole duration of the race. He jumped well that day, and showed a gritty attitude to go again near the finish having been third jumping the last fence. He showed his well being when a good winner of a hunter chase at Haydock in February, when beating Bob and Co at Haydock over this intermediate trip. He was pulled up last time out at Cheltenham, but he has always shown that the trip of 3m2f has been beyond him, and it was again. This test looks a lot more suitable, and should be backed on the account of his form over these fences and over this distance. At a price of 10/1 with Paddy Power, he should also be backed each way. 

The 4.40 race is the Red Rum Handicap Chase over 2 miles and this is one of the most competitive handicaps of the year typically and this year looks no different. I have come down on the top weight in this race, and I’m excited to see what Sky Pirate can achieve on just a one pound higher mark than winning the Grand Annual last season. He was fancied for that race again this season, but the deluge of rain the day of that race paid to his chances, and he will be much more at home on this sounder surface and on a track like this. The balance of his form this season has still been very good and even though he does have to give a fair whack of weight away, he could be classy enough to defy it – as he has shown in the past. I think he is overpriced currently at 16/1 with Paddy Power, who are giving out 5 places – and I think he should be backed each way as a result.

The 5.15 race is the concluding bumper on the card and is the Grade 2 mares bumper with a series of promising horses going to post, all with unexposed profiles and the majority of which are arriving on the back of big runs. On this occasion, I am going to side with the shrewd Lorna Fowler yard, who knows how to ready a good bumper horse and side with Naughtinesse – who might be a promising horse to keep on side this year and into next season. She won very impressively last time out Fairyhouse, and was encountering similar ground to what she will have here. It is very hard to judge where her form keeps her in this company, but sometimes one has to take a chance and I think she could be one of the most exciting mares in this line up. At a price of 5/1 with Paddy Power, who are paying out the 5 places, she should be backed each way. 

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