AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

The Grand National

Day Three of the Grand National meeting
TIME: first race 1.45pm

In an era when racing coverage in newspapers is coming under increasing pressure how refreshing to pick up a copy of the Liverpool Echo on Friday evening to see the silks of all 40 runners splashed on the front page, the form and card on the back page and a ‘bumper’ eight page pull out inside.

Mind you, if the Liverpool Echo don’t do the race justice – no one is going to but it runs deeper that.

The Grand National is a precious and deeply loved part of Liverpool’s heritage. If the Melbourne Cup stops a nation, the Grand National still stops a city and, thankfully, most of the country.

But it’s a challenging time for the great race and an important year. The race is being made safer (read easier) every year but the sad fatality of Battlefront that marred the opening day grabbed the news headlines.

The old race desperately needs a good year and headlines for the right reasons.

First and foremost, let’s hope for all horses and riders to return safely. That will be the best possible result for the race going forwards and building and keeping a new audience for the annual spectacular.

Channel 4 will also cover the race for the first time this year after the BBC rather shamefully dropped all its racing coverage.

So it’s a new era but will picking the winner be any easier? Yes, in theory. Safer fences should ensure less casualties and with a generally higher quality horse competing these days it should play into the hands of the better class horses with less of the lottery factor. It will also be interesting to see how the start works this year – now set further away from the stands to try and ensure a calmer start for the horses. We wouldn’t be big odds a false start though !!

The old course is still capable of throwing up a shock though as we just saw on Thursday with the success of 100/1 chance Tartan Snow in the Fox Hunters’ Chase.

As always with the National we’re expecting the usual late gambles. A win for Ruby, Katy or AP would almost certainly be bad news for us at Star Sports so we’re looking for something outside that trio of On His Own, Seabass and Colbert Station.

Finally, you want a tip? The best tip is to go with what you fancy. Make the race personal and however you select your National pick(s) settle back and cheer your selection home.

But more importantly cheer them ALL home safe and sound.

A couple of longer priced ones for the Star Event column that we think could run well are Joncol and Roberto Goldback.

(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)
1 point ew Joncol (Aintree 4.15 Grand National)
1 point ew Roberto Goldback (Aintree 4.15 Grand National)

(LEVEL points yesterday: NON RUNNER)

Agree OR disagree? Call Star Sports on 08000 521 321 to place your bet.