Best bets from our experts



Paul Nicholls: Monmiral can get us off to a winning start at Aintree on Thursday

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has eight runners at Aintree on Thursday so get his views on each of them including his best chance of the afternoon.

Paul says: Monmiral is a good example of my belief that everything in the season shouldn’t revolve around Cheltenham. We don’t buy and train horses just for the Festival. We don’t have to take horses there, we were not tempted by the Triumph Hurdle and it was always the plan that Monmiral would head instead to Aintree after he won impressively on both starts for us.

“The form of his latest success at Haydock has been well and truly franked by the second and the third. While he has only ever raced on soft ground I feel that good to soft on Thursday will be fine for him. Leading chance.”

Best Chance on Thursday: 14:20 – Monmiral

The Grand National Festival starts on Thursday with an excellent card, and our in-form tipster Kevin Blake has two selections for you to consider on day one…

Kevin says: “Ten-year-old Moon Over Germany ran out the impressive winner of this race two years ago off a 12lb lower mark, benefiting from an aggressively positive ride. He found more improvement over fences later that year, but was then switched back to hurdling, most notably finishing sixth in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season.

“He made his return to chasing on what was also his comeback from a winter break in the Webster Cup at Navan last month and despite making a bad mistake at the third fence, he shaped well for a long way under a sympathetic ride.

“It wouldn’t be at all surprising if his connections have had this race in mind for him for the last few months and with him having slipped back to a fair mark, he can be expected to run a big race.”

Back Moon Over Germany each-way (1/5 odds, 5 places) in 16:40 @ 8.07/1

Tony Calvin has thoroughly investigated the Aintree card, adding two big each-way shouts to his antepost selections. Find out what our man is backing and why…

Tony says: “My saver is Sully D’Oc AA each way, five places with the Sportsbook in the 16:40 Red Rum Chase.

“I was disappointed with his eighth in the Plate at Cheltenham but, upon reviewing the race a couple of times on Tuesday morning, I thought he ran better than I expected.

“He travelled well on the inner throughout but his jockey (who may or may not have had trouble with his irons/saddle given the strange mannerisms from the saddle from 2 out) had very little racing room in the straight.

“Either way, I am happy to give the horse another betting spin off a 1lb lower mark here, especially as his earlier form this season has worked out so well.”

Back Sully D’oc AA in 16:40 at Aintree each way, five places, with Betfair Sportsbook, at 26.025/1

Betfair ambassador Olly Murphy sends five horses to Aintree across Thursday and Friday’s cards, and the the trainer talks through their chances.

Olly says: “Brewin’upastorm loves the track and we’re expecting a really good run from him. He did a lovely piece of work last week and seems in fantastic form. We’ve schooled him a couple of times this week and his jumping has been slick and smooth, and we can’t wait to get him there.

“His form ties in with Paul’s horse McFabulous, so all being well and he jumps the last with a chance, we can roar him home. It’s a privilege to have a runner in the Grade One and we’re looking forward to it.”

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday and pick out their 1-2-3, with Olly’s horse tipped for victory.

Timeform say: “Brewin’upastorm is a very smart hurdler who has resumed his progress back over hurdles after a couple of underwhelming efforts over fences earlier this season.

“He easily defied top weight in a handicap at Taunton in January and then took the step up in grade in his stride when following up in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell (by five and a half lengths from McFabulous) last time, always in control after quickening to lead two out. Clearly thriving at present and must enter calculations with further improvement not out of the question.

Back Brewin’Upastorm to win the Aintree Hurdle @ 7.26/1