Cheltenham Festival Losers That Can Make Amends at Aintree

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Cheltenham Festival Losers That Can Make Amends at Aintree
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With the 2024 Cheltenham Festival done and dusted, attention now turns to Aintree’s Grand National meeting, which begins on Thursday, 11 April. 

*Ahead of Saturday's big race why not take on our Grand Jump challenge below. Also don't forget to enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning £/€1,000!

Our racing expert Gavin Beech is back with five horses who can make amends for defeat at Prestbury Park when they head to the Merseyside venue.


Take a look at the latest Grand National free bets on offer! 


Thursday

It’s On The Line - Foxhunters' Hunters' Chase

It’s On The Line didn’t get past Becher’s in the Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase 12 months ago, but if he repeats the level of form he showed in defeat at Cheltenham, then JP McManus’ recent purchase will surely go close to making amends at the Merseyside venue.

The Emmet Mullins-trained gelding was only chinned in the shadows of the post by Sine Nomine at the Cheltenham Festival, despite never really travelling with much fluency through the race. 

He’s a tough customer who is probably capable of even better, and this slightly easier test should suit him well. 

He’ll be hard to beat at Aintree before heading back to Punchestown to defend his crown. 

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Friday

Banbridge - Melling Chase (Grade 1)

Connections decided to let Banbridge take his chance in the Ryanair Chase, but ground conditions were never going to suit him and he ultimately ran well below the level we know he’s capable of. We can put a line through that run.

Banbridge has had a light campaign, but he looked better than ever when beating Pic D’Orhy in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in January. 

Even more encouraging is the fact that he shone at this meeting last year when winning the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase – although it’s worth noting that he skipped Cheltenham last year.

Connections will be hoping the ground dries out for this meeting because on a sound surface and over his ideal trip, this horse will take some stopping in a the Melling Chase. If you are going to catch Banbridge anywhere, it’s at this meeting.

Crebilly - Topham Chase

Crebilly will need to jump better than he did in the Plate Handicap Chase but if he takes to the Aintree fences then he is surely well enough handicapped to win this. 

Well-backed on the day with betting sites at Cheltenham, he just lacked a yard of pace when the tempo lifted, but the way he stayed on up the hill to finish a closing second suggests he’ll do even better upped in trip. 

A 3lb rise for that Cheltenham second isn’t anything to worry about, the longer trip will suit and his prospects rest largely on whether he takes to the National fences. 

If he does, then he’s surely going close in a race that should be run to suit. 

Saturday

Irish Point – Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

Irish Point should relish going back up to 2m4f for the Aintree Hurdle and, assuming his fine second in the Champion Hurdle hasn’t left its mark, he should be hard to beat this time. 

Not many horses in training can get so close to State Man, but Irish Point stayed on all the way to the line to close in on the winner late on. 

He was probably helped by the ground being so testing on the opening day, as that would have brought his stamina into play, but he doesn’t need it testing, as he showed when winning the Grade 1 Mersey Novices' Hurdle at this meeting last year. 

Connections have the option of going all the way up to 3m in the Liverpool Hurdle, but this intermediary trip looks just the ticket for now and the improving Irish Point can bag another Grade 1 prize. 

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Corach Rambler – Grand National

Corach Rambler’s career-best effort in the Gold Cup will have put him spot on for his bid to win a second Grand National, for which he is a strong 5/1 favourite with betting apps.

Last year’s hero has been brought to the boil steadily this term but his staying-on third behind Galopin Des Champs and Gerri Colombe marks him down as a staying chaser still on the upgrade.

With that in mind, there must be every chance that he can defy a 13lb higher mark than 12 months ago. 

He cruised through the race last year, taking to the fences like a complete natural before idling in front late on and, on what we saw at Cheltenham, he’s an even better horse now.

There is a school of thought that he would have had a hard race at Cheltenham and it might just leave its mark, but he’s been campaigned with the National in mind all year and the month break between Cheltenham and Aintree should be enough to ensure that he’s primed to retain his crown.