Cheltenham hero Blaklion ready to roar at Aintree

Cause of Causes, Vicente and Pleasant Company

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained BLAKLION, ridden by Noel Fehily, is priced at 14-1 to win the 2017 Randox Health Aintree Grand National on Saturday.

“Without a doubt winning the Grand National would be the highlight of the season. The National is massive,” said jockey Fehily.

Blaklion is carrying 11st 1lbs and Fehily said of the eight year old: “If we won it, it would take quite a while to come down from that!

“Blaklion has got a really nice profile for the race, as he’s got a bit of class, but has also proved himself as a proper stayer.”

Fehily added: “Vieux Lion Rouge is the obvious one – he’s won over the National fences already – and has some really good form.

“More of That could be the right sort of horse too. I believe you need to have a bit of class to win a National and he’s definitely got that.”

Fehily said: “Blaklion is not very big – but small horses have won the Grand National. Blaklion’s jumping is very neat – and I’m very happy to be riding him.”

The Leader’s Sportstalk is hoping to continue is top class racing service – following six winning selections at The Cheltenham Festival in March, followed by each-way 20-1 winner Bravery in last weekend’s Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster – in the 2017 Randox Health Aintree Grand National.

Definitely Red and Vieux Lion Rogue are leading favourites in the £1m race over the 4 miles 2 furlongs and 27 yards gruelling Grand National fences in Liverpool – with the winner collecting £561,300.

Sportstalk have looked in-depth, in an attempt to help punters in the 40-runner field, with each-way tips: Cause of Causes, Vicente, Pleasant Company and Blaklion our selections for the 6.15pm (Spain) 5.15pm (UK) televised spectacular showpiece.

CAUSE OF CAUSES, trained by Gordon Elliott, who finished eighth in the 2015 Grand National, is available at 14-1. Carrying 10st 13lb, Cause of Causes, ridden by Mr JJ Codd, was successful at the Cheltenham Festival last month.

The Leader winning 4-1 tip at Cheltenham, Cause of Causes, who finished eighth in the 2015 Grand National, is a leading contender for this year’s Aintree Grand National

Cause of Causes, who has regular jockey Jamie Codd up, is worth backing each-way, noted finishing eighth in the 2015 National behind Many Clouds, when finishing the race strongly.

Elliott, who trained National 2007 winner Silver Birch, said: “Cause of Causes is an absolute superstar – we love him to bits. Jamie gives him a great ride.”

And Codd said: “Cause of Causes is a great little horse, a real dinger, he’s been marvellous for my career. He’s an idle little horse – but quick when you need him to be.”

Sportstalk tipped VICENTE last week in Sportstalk – when odds of 33-1 were available. On Thursday’s declaration stage the price had been shaved to 20-1. Ridden by Brian Hughes, Vicente, carrying 10st 10lbs, has been prepared by trainer Paul Nicholls for this year’s Grand National.

Having run four times this season, Vicente, winner of the Scottish National in 2016, is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who won the Grand National with Many Clouds, Ballabriggs and Hedgehunter.

Ace jockey Hughes’ booking to ride Vicente is significant. Currently behind Richard Johnson in the jump jockeys’ championship race.

And Hemmings’ racing manager, Mick Meagher, said: “Brian Hughes has schooled Vicente – they jumped well – and all’s well at the moment, ahead of the Grand National.

“On his Scottish National form he would have a very good chance. He prefers better ground, and talk about a dry week is good news.”

Irish trainer Willie Mullins saddles 16-1 chance, nine year old PLEASANT COMPANY, carrying 10st 12lbs, and ridden by Ruby Walsh, priced at 16-1. Walsh won the Grand National on Papillon in 2000 and on Hedgehunter in 2005.

Grand National latest betting odds: Definitely Red 11/1, Vieux Lion Rouge 11/1, More Of That 12/1, Blaklion 14/1, Cause Of Causes 14/1, One For Arthur 14/1, Pleasant Company 16/1, The Last Samurai 16/1, Ucello Conti 16/1, Saphir Du Rheu 18/1, The Young Master 20/1, Vicente 20/1, Highland Lodge 25/1, Rogue Angel 25/1, Raz De Maree 33/1, Saint Are 33/1, Doctor Harper 40/1, Double Shuffle 40/1, Houblon Des Obeaux 40/1, Just A Par 40/1, Le Mercurey 40/1, Mesureofmydreams 40/1, Stellar Notion 40/1, Tenor Nivernals 40/1, Thunder And Roses 40/1, Wonderful Charm 40/1, Bishops Road 50/1, Drop Out Joe 50/1, Gas Line Boy 50/1, Lord Windermere 50/1, O Faolains Boy 50/1, Perfect Candidate 50/1, Regal Encore 50/1, Roi Des Francs 50/1, Shantou Flyer 50/1, The Crafty Butcher 50/1, Wounded Warrior 50/1, Ballynagour 66/1, Goodtoknow 66/1, Cocktails At Dawn 100/1, La Vaticane 100/1. 


1: Blaklion 2: Cause of Causes. 3: Vicente. 4: Pleasant Company.

FORGOODMEASURE (1.45), trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson is worthy of each-way support in the opening race of the card at Aintree on Grand National day in the 22-runners Gaskgells Handicap Hurdle over 3 miles.

In a very competitive Betway Novices Hurdle race over 2 miles 4 furlongs Paul Nicholls’ BRIO CONTI (2.25) is tipped to shine, ridden by Sean Bowen.

In The Doom Bar Maghull Novices Chase over 1 mile and 7 furlongs Kim Bailey’s CHARBEL (3.00) ridden by David Bass is the one to beat.

David Pipe’s STARCHITECT (3.40) ridden by Tom Scudamore, fifth of 24 at Cheltenham last month over 2 miles 4 furlongs, is expected to run well in the 18 runners field Betway Handicap Chase over 3 miles.

YANWORTH (4.20) is tipped to beat the opposition in the Ryanair Stayers Liverpool Hurdle over 3 miles. The Alan King trained seven year old, ridden by Barry Geraghty, has won seven races over hurdles.

Yanworth is tipped to take the Ryanair Stayers Liverpool Hurdle

ROBINSHILL (6.15) trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Jamie Bargarry is given the nod in the final race of the day in the Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles.

At LINGFIELD Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride BURREN VIEW LADY (2.00). Burren View Lady has dropped down the weights and appeals to land the 32RedPoker Fillies Handicap over 5 furlongs.

Roger Varian saddles HORROOB (2.35) in the 32RedCasino Maiden Stakes over 7 furlongs. Horroob, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, has competed in better company.

At CHEPSTOW Philip Hobbs saddles RESOLUTION BAY (1.40) in the toteplaceplot Six Places in Six Races Novices Hurdle over 2 miles. Other tips at Chepstow are: IRISH THISTLE (2.15), BEGGARS CROSS (3.30), MY BOY JAMES (4.05).

At WOLVERHAMPTON’S evening meeting Charlie Hills GLORIOUS ARTIST (6.20) ridden by Luke Morris was beaten by only 2 lengths last time out.

HISTORIC EVENT (6.50) trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Paul Cosgrove makes her racing debut. Ian Williams MIDTECH STAR (7.50) is tipped to win the Betway Stayers Handicap over 1 mile 5 furlongs.  Ridden by Richard Kingscote, Midtech Star is a course and distance winner.

COMMANCHE (9.20) trained by Chris Dwyer, ran sixth at Chelmsford last time out, and is a course and distance winner over the 5 furlongs trip.