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2015 Grand National tips - Back Rocky Creek to romp to Aintree glory

Nick picks out his best bets in the Aintree Grand National.

The excitement ahead of the £1million Aintree Grand National continues to build and punters can look forward to another ferociously competitive running of the race.


ROCKY CREEK (10/1, William Hill)
SOLL (each-way) (25/1, Ladbrokes)

The four-mile war continues to be the most daunting punting puzzle on the racing calendar and finding the winner can be as challenging as the gruelling National course itself.

Ante post players will have had their selection in mind for some time and shrewd race fans will know that the earlier you get your bets on the more value you are going to get in the betting jungle.

One of the only certainties in this year’s race will be that AP McCoy’s Shutthefrontdoor (7/1, bet365) will go off a well backed favourite and he could be the shortest market leader since the mighty Red Rum.

Shutthefrontdoor wins the Irish Grand National

The fact that it’s McCoy’s last Grand National and his mount has a fantastic profile for the race should ensure that the value rapidly disappears and supporters of the favourite should place their bets on the Irish Grand National winner now (bet365 are NRNB and Best Odds Guaranteed).

Shutthefrontdoor is entitled to run well and there would be sensational scenes at Aintree if McCoy could land the famous handicap, but there are better bets in the race and ROCKY CREEK (10/1, William Hill) looks to have an outstanding chance.

Paul Nicholls’ nine-year-old would not have looked out of place in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup but connections have been keen to return to Aintree and he will be looking to improve on his fifth in last year’s National.

He will line up on Merseyside officially 9lbs well in and his success in the BetBright Chase at Kempton last time out would suggest that he is in the form of his life.  

He won that Grade Three with considerable ease and despite travelling wide throughout, he could have been called the winner a long way from home.  Before the race Nicholls had suggested he’d come on for the run and all his appearances this season have been stepping-stones for a return to Aintree.

All of Rocky Creek’s finest attributes were on show at Kempton and he jumped magnificently under the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies.  His fantastic attitude and sublime leap go hand in hand with his huge engine and it’s no surprise to hear that Nicholls has always held him in the highest regard.

Layers of the horse will point the fact that he didn’t appear to stay in last year’s race, but too much was made of him there (he traded very short in running) and a more patient ride is sure to suit.  Nicholls has also given the star a breathing operation, which, along with being one year older and stronger, is sure to help him see out the gruelling trip.

Rocky Creek undoubtedly ticks a number of boxes ahead of his trip to Aintree and there are very few negatives.  An impressive looking beast who looks at home in staying chases, he is proven around the track, jumps incredibly well and will run one step ahead of the handicapper.  He looks the most likely winner and he can give Nicholls his second victory in the race.

Punters looking for a more tempting each-way price should look no further than SOLL (25/1, Ladbrokes) who has been handed a very workable weight for the world’s most prestigious steeplechase.

The horse finished seventh in the National in 2013 and eleventh in the Topham Chase twelve months ago and he has looked better than ever since he joined the Pipe yard last summer.

The chestnut heads to Aintree in great form and he is effectively 7lb well in after his victories at Exeter and Newbury for his new handler.  He raced in blinkers rather than cheekpieces most recently after racing lazily at Exeter and Pipe has admitted he has ‘changed a few things at home’ ahead of this year’s National.

Soll is now better equipped for the National as a ten-year-old and he is one horse that is absolutely certain to relish the stamina and jumping test that the race provides.

He might not have the class of Rocky Creek, but he is weighted to run well and looks an attractive each-way price.


ROCKY CREEK (10/1, William Hill)

SOLL (25/1, Ladbrokes)

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2015 Grand National tips - Back Rocky Creek to romp to Aintree glory

The excitement ahead of the £1million Aintree Grand National continues to build and punters can look forward to another ferociously competitive running of the race.

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