Tote Ambassador Danny Mullins gives us his thoughts on who he would put in his Placepot for Day 3 of the Aintree Grand National Festival!
Race 1 - Dans Le Vent
Winter Fog is favourite and will probably be on a lot of short lists, but I think he has proven himself to be a bit of a weak finisher. I’d go for Dans Le Vent for Evan Williams and Isabel Williams claiming 3. He was well beaten at Cheltenham the last day, but had a good run at Sandown previous to that. Looking back to last year when he was second at Aintree, shows a liking to the course so stands a decent chance here.
Race 2 - Three Stripe Life
He has some great form behind Sir Gerhard. Walking On Air is a big talking point, won very well at Newbury for Nicky Henderson, but I think he’s been thrown too far in the deep end to cope with Three Stripe Life. It’d be some nice compensation for Gordon Elliott after losing a race earlier in the week.
Race 3 - Edwardstone
Edwardstone was a good winner of the Arkle and I think it’s his race to lose here. He looks banker material here. Third Time Lucki skipped Cheltenham so he’s coming here a fresher horse, but I think Edwardstone should be good enough to get the job done here again. He had a faller in front of him early on in Cheltenham that didn’t help his chances, but he still managed to pick up an easy win. He’s banker material in the Novice Chase.
Race 4 - Flooring Porter
I ride Flooring Porter here and I think he’s definitely the best horse in the race. Gavin has reported he’s come out of Cheltenham very well. Whilst it’s a competitive race, again I think he’ll take all the beating. Possible one for an outsider is Koshari, he ran a fine race and was only beaten by 7 or 8 lengths at Cheltenham and hadn’t been seen since November. Bar Flooring Porter, I think he’s the one with the most potential to improve.
Race 5 - Tea Clipper
Shan Blue takes a drop in class here, but that fall earlier in the year may have affected him. The one I’d go for here is Tea Clipper for Tom Lacey and Stan Sheppard. Ran a fine race at Cheltenham the last day when he was 4th in a Handicap Chase, possibly got involved a little bit too soon as the winner came from well off the pace. With some more patient tactics here I think he’s well enough handicapped to win.
Race 6 - Noble Yeats
It’s the big one and there’s plenty of talking horses in here, but the one I think has been mapped out for the race is Noble Yeats. Emmet Mullins trains it, Sam Waley-Cohen takes the ride. He’s came out and said it will be his last ride and he’ll retire afterwards and he does have a good chance of going out on a winner. Looking back at his form, he was second to Ahoy Senor and that reads fairly well now with how well he’s been running in Grade 1 Novice Chases. He was pretty busy through the spring, but that was to meet the qualifications for the race, you have to have ran six times over fences so Emmet really had to squeeze in a few extra runs, which probably wasn’t ideal. But he’s had a bit of time to sit back and prepare him for this race so I think he’s open to any amount of improvement.
Danny's Grand National Ride: Agusta Gold
I think this type of test is one that should really suit her. She's won over these kind of trips before. I think I was just touched off her in the National Trial around Punchestown over 3 miles 6 furlongs on heavy ground so an extended 4 miles on a bit of nicer ground should suit her. I suppose with her as well, it's key you get out and get a nice position early. The first five or six fences, get into a nice rhythm, get her jumping and her stamina should kick in over the second part of the race. Whilst she's an outsider, I think if I can get her into a rhythm jumping, she could be one for the Placepot.