Katie Walsh: My horses to watch on Thursday at Aintree
The Betway ambassador reveals her fancies in all seven races on the opening day of the 2021 Grand National Festival.
I love the Grand National Festival. It’s always superb racing and the racing on day one is brilliant. The Betway Bowl is class and I think it could be won by a very special little horse this year.
I don’t think there is much between them in the opener, but I was so impressed with The Shunter at Cheltenham, who won with his head in his chest. He’s been a revelation this season and I think his improvement will continue.
Adagio ran an absolute blinder in the Triumph Hurdle to finish second. He’s done nothing but improve all season and, although Monmiral looks very good, Adagio has the big race experience which could make the difference.
As I said at the start, the Betway Bowl is a corker! Looking through the race, it really wouldn’t surprise me if Tiger Roll won it. He was absolutely electric in the Cross Country at Cheltenham and we all know how much he loves Aintree.
You could make a case for most of the runners but, with Tiger, you know if he’s on a going day, he’s very, very good.
Jason The Militant wasn’t a horse I thought would be competing at this level at the start of the season, but he’s just kept on improving and sometimes horses do just that.
He’s really not been beaten far in good races and he was very good when beating Petit Mouchoir, who is a good old yardstick. Henry [De Bromhead] had a superb Cheltenham, so it’ll be interesting to see if his fortunes are the same at Aintree.
You’d have to think that Billaway would be simply too good for his rivals. He was only narrowly beaten at Cheltenham and, on ratings, he’s the one they all have to beat.
It’s great that amateurs are back in the saddle and Patrick [Mullins] is a huge plus on his back.
Moon Over Germany needs to improve on what he’s shown this season, but he skipped Cheltenham to be saved for this and that could be telling.
He won this race in 2019 by 10 lengths, so you know he’ll handle the track. Jordan Gainford, one of the promising young riders in the weighing room, has been booked for his 7lb claim. They must go close.
Eileendover has looked super this season for Pam Sly in her three career starts. She’s still unbeaten and has an explosive turn of foot.
This race has always been the plan for her, and it would be brilliant if the plan was well executed with a success. The options for her after this will be wide open if she wins.
Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.