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2016 Grand National tips - The expert guide to the Aintree highlight

The Druids Nephew has a fantastic chance in the Grand National.

Danny Archer takes a look at the 2016 Aintree Grand National ante post market and picks out two selections for the famous handicap.


THE DRUIDS NEPHEW 1pt Win - 25/1 Coral

SAINT ARE 1pt Each-Way - 33/1 Betfred

As the jump season begins to hear up, this weekend see a couple of trials at Aintree for the Crabbie's Grand National. One of the centrepieces of the British jump racing calendar the Grand National has been won by an esteemed list of excellent jumpers and hardy staying chasers. Here I give a couple of ante-post tips for the one of the most iconic races in the world which will be run at 5:15 for the first time.

The Neil Mulholland-trained The Druids Nephew has a great chance of landing the spoils in next year's Grand National. The eight-year-old was travelling ominously well when falling at the 26th fence in this year's race with his jockey Aidan Coleman commenting after the race: "He just got in a bit deep, he was running really and travelled like a dream. I'm absolutely gutted." Coleman's despair highlighted just how well the son of King's Theatre was running and he will hold an outstanding chance in April if he jumps well. The Druids Nephew finished sixth at Wetherby in the Grade Two Bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle in October on his reappearance when beaten by 124 lengths. However, in what looks an effort to preserve his handicap rating that was a nice effort in soft ground and his next start could prove more informative. 

The Druids Nephew clears the third last at Cheltenham.

That could come on Saturday in the Listed Betfred Lotto "100K Cash Giveaway" Chase at Aintree. Since joining Neil Mulholland, the Irish-bred gelding has gone from strength to strength and he impressed when winning the Grade Three Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase by three and three-quarters lengths over three miles and one furlong under Barry Geraghty at this year's Cheltenham Festival. In what may be a light campaign to keep him primed for the National, The Druids Nephew is fancied to land the race.

I've already tipped Saint Are to run a cracker in this weekend's Betfred Becher Chase Handicap on Saturday but whatever he achieves between now and April will only be a bonus as his main target is the National. He was an excellent one and three quarter length second in the race last year behind Many Clouds and jumped well in the main before staying on resolutely under pressure. Following a pleasing return to action in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase when nine-year-old finished sixth, Saint Are can only improve on the back of that performance. His return to Aintree on Saturday could prove informative but with the National being his main aim, Saint Are can prove he isn't a sinner but a winner in April.

Saint Are has been impressive over fences.

As for some of the other runners, Many Clouds, the 2015 winner will have a light campaign to prepare him for a repeat success in the race and the way he jumped and travelled in the contest, he could have a live chance of recording back-to-back victories. The eight-year-old does have a real touch of class about him and he could prove a potent threat to the two selections. The son of Cloudings was sixth of seven runners in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on his reappearance and he could well take on The Druids Nephew in Saturday's Listed Betfred Lotto "100K Cash Giveaway" Chase at Aintree. Some other potential runners include this year's third, fourth and fifth in the National: Monbeg Dude; Alvarado and Shutthefrontdoor. Irish Hennessy winner Thunder And Roses, Midlands National winner Goonyella and one horse of interesting more could be dual King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti who may run at Aintree.
Whoever lines up in this year's race, the Grand National at its new start time of 5:15 looks to be another superb renewal.


THE DRUIDS NEPHEW 1pt Win - 25/1 Coral

SAINT ARE 1pt Each-Way - 33/1 Betfred

Countdown to Grand National

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Join millions of fans preparing to celebrate the build up to the world's most famous race - the Aintree Grand National.

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2016 Grand National tips - The expert guide to the Aintree highlight

Danny Archer takes a look at the 2016 Aintree Grand National ante post market and picks out two selections for the famous handicap.

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