It’s about time that Champagne Platinum managed to put his head in front.

He’s run well without winning in three starts this season, including when fifth in the Pertemps Final at the Festival. He may be suited by this flatter track and that could see him eke out further improvement.


Dreal Deal is a rapidly improving horse for whom missing Cheltenham may have been a blessing.

He won well on his last start and his trainer said he wasn’t fully fit that day, so you’d have to think more could come from him. He’s now won four on the spin this season.


Shishkin won’t be the biggest price of all time but, barring any accidents, he should win. He’s by far the best horse in the race and it’ll be exciting to see him run again.

He’ll take some stopping and all roads will be leading towards the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase for him next season.


Thyme Hill missed the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and that freshness may suit him very well. He’s been good in two starts this season and will love the quick ground.

He’s going to be ridden by Tom O’Brien now that Dicky Johnson has retired, and it would be great if he were to win a Grade 1.


Snow Leopardess is a wicked jumper of a fence. She’s a smart horse who has been very consistent this season.

She was a good fourth at the Festival and will be suited by the track at Aintree. It wouldn’t surprise me if she was ridden prominently by Brian Hughes.


The big race of the weekend is the Grand National. It’s such a big spectacle and is racing’s biggest window of opportunity for gaining new fans.

It’s very hard to pick horses you think will win, but I’d love to see Cloth Cap go well for Jonjo O’Neill, Tom Scudamore and Trevor Hemmings. They’ve all given their life to horse racing and a win in this race would be an emotional success.

Obviously, I’d also love to see Any Second Now win for Dad [Ted Walsh]. He’s been trained for the race, but you need plenty of luck in the Grand National, so fingers crossed he gets it.

I also would like to see Burrows Saint go well for Patrick Mullins. Patrick – and all the other amateurs – had to sit out of Cheltenham, but I’d say that he won’t mind too much if he manages to win the Grand National.

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