After clashing during the Cheltenham Festival, aintree.co.uk writers Dominic Chapman and Reece Charlton go head-to-head again as all eyes turn to Merseyside for the 2022 running of the Grand National.
The aim of the game is simple: each winning tip equals 10 points, with NAPs that go in doubling the tally to 20.
Will you be following in the footsteps of our resident writers ahead of day one this Thursday afternoon?
Here are their best bets…
DOM’S GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL TIPS
- 1:45pm – War Lord | Ran a cracker in the Arkle; should have no issues stepping up in trip and has been hugely consistent over fences.
- 2:20pm – Petit Tonnerre | Seemingly saved for this race by connections; won two starts over hurdles in France before easy success at Market Rasen on English debut. Big player.
- 2:55pm – Conflated (NAP) | Was in the process of running a big race in the Ryanair before tipping up; remains very unexposed over this trip and rates the value pick over Protekrorat.
- 3:30pm – Zanahiyr | If he is to have a say in the Stayers’ next season, Gordon Elliot’s charge probably ought to win this; could reverse the form with Epatante who doesn’t appear to be crying out for this sort of trip.
- 4:05pm – Latenightpass | Finished second in this a year ago; trainer had one go well in the Hunter Chase at Cheltenham and this charge has won a couple of points since last seen under rules. Strong claims.
- 4:40pm – Before Midnight | Form with Funambule Sivola given a huge boost at the Festival; outclassed at Kempton after Christmas but has done nothing else wrong this campaign and is off a nice mark of 148.
- 5:15pm – Law Ella | Left a striking impression on debut at Down Royal last month; gets a quick turnaround across the Irish Sea this time but is in good hands and could have more to offer.
REECE’S GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL TIPS
- 1:45 – Pic D’Orhy (NAP)
The quicker ground currently on offer for Pic D’Orhy should suit him and with his nearest rival sitting 5lbs off him in the ratings, he could well continue his winning form for Paul Nicholls in the opening contest.
- 2:20 – Fautinette E/W
Despite being given a seriously tough task on her British Debut, Fautinette holds a big each-way price for the 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. She won all three of her starts in France and is in receipt of a 7lbs mares’ allowance here, which gives her a chance of causing an upset here.
- 2:55 – Clan Des Obeaux
A race which suits prominent runners, Clan Des Obeaux should strike once again in the Betway Bowl. Paul Nicholls’ record in this race is phenomenal and it should be simple enough for his recruit to claim victory here.
- 3:30 – Glory And Fortune E/W
It could well be upset galore on the opening day, with Tom Lacey’s Glory And Fortune holding a decent price to pull off a shock. The gelding put up a respectable effort when finishing fifth in the Champion Hurdle last month and he could well have more to offer further down the line.
- 4:05 – Cousin Pascal E/W
Last year’s winner could well be in the mix once again here, as Cousin Pascal returns to Aintree for J J O’Shea. The 10-year-old is partnered back up with James King, who has never failed to finish outside the places in this contest.
- 4:40 – Zarkareva E/W
Henry De Bromhead has a good record in this contest and he could hold a interesting entry in Zarkareva. The mare has been competitive in big field handicaps this season and she should appreciate the better ground.
- 5.15 – Iliade Allen E/W
Iliade Allen could round off a great day for Paul Nicholls in the Grade 2 mares bumper, with Illiade Allen holding some interest in this contest. The four-year-old has placed in all three of her starts and she should be in contention here.