Full race preview and free betting tips for each race shown live on Channel 4 on Day 1 of the Aintree Festival.
It's the start of April; which, for racing fans, can mean only one thing – the Grand National meeting at Aintree. Not always the easiest meeting to bet at, with Cheltenham Festival form not always holding up three weeks down the line, we have tips for every Channel 4 race.
Coverage begins with a Juvenile hurdle with form from both the Triumph and Fred Winter hurdles under the microscope.
Activial (4/1 William Hill) missed the Triumph so comes here fresher than a few of his rivals. He won impressively at Kempton last time and should finish closer to Calipto than he did on his Newbury debut providing there is enough juice in the ground.
The favourite for the Triumph was Calipto (10/3 Stan James) who didn't have the rub of the green before finishing fourth. He had to take evasive action early in the contest before Daryl Jacob's stirrups broke preventing him riding a proper finish. His previous form was high class and any further rain would come to his aid.
FOX NORTON (7/1 BetVictor) did well to give 7lbs and a beating to Broughton (14/1 William Hill) at Doncaster last time with good ground and a sharp track likely playing to his advantage. Given connections, he may be a shade of value here and missing Cheltenham may well be have been beneficial.
Guitar Pete (11/2 Stan James) was a game third in the Triumph having had a lot of racing this season. He has held his form well throughout but softer ground would probably suit ideally.
Hawk High (16/1 Stan James) was the victor in the Fred Winter, repelling strong challenges up the hill. The quicker ground brought out a career best but he needs to improve further to win again.
2.00 Betting Tip – FOX NORTON (WIN) (7/1 BetVictor)
The Betfair Bowl has a small but select field with last years front three re-opposing in a fascinating renewal.
DYNASTE (2/1 BetVictor) came back to his best at the Cheltenham Festival last time when running away with the Ryanair Chase. He won the three mile novice chase at this meeting in some style last season so with conditions firmly in his favour is a worthy favourite.
First Lieutenant (3/1 bet365) won this race last year but has lacked consistency this season. If returning to the form that saw him finish second in the Lexus Chase over Christmas he should go very close but if repeating his modest third in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown he will struggle to claim back-to-back victories.
Menorah (11/1 BetVictor) ran a mighty race when second in this race last season. He has not shown anything much in two runs so far this campaign but would be dangerous if returning to his best.
Silviniaco Conti (5/2 Stan James) looked for all the world like he was going to avenge last years Gold Cup tumble when tanking to the front turning for home before wayward on the run-in this time around. He was very much at his best on a flat track at Christmas in the King George but he was a beaten favourite in this race last year and a hard race at Cheltenham may have left its mark.
2.30 Betting Tip – DYNASTE (WIN) (2/1 BetVictor)
The Aintree Hurdle has always been one of the highlights of the meeting with Champion Hurdle winners regularly taking the half mile step up in trip on this flat, speed track.
DIAKALI (10/1 Ladbrokes) ran a corker saddled with top weight in the County Hurdle, following up a second to Champion Hurdle winner Jezki over this trip at Fairyhouse. He thrashed Ptit Zig off levels at Auteuil last June and having run consistently well since he looks overpriced. He may also get a soft lead and as such get the run of the race.
Grandouet (16/1 Stan James) and Rock On Ruby (11/1 Stan James) revert back to hurdles, having failed to make the impact over fences that connections would have hoped. The latter is by far the more interesting of the pair as a former Champion Hurdle winner but he has twice come up short in this contest and it would be a surprise if this time round was any different.
The New One (2/5 BetVictor) looked unlucky at Cheltenham, doing wonders to stay on his feet at the third avoiding a faller. He rattled home up the hill and the step back up in trip is not going to be any kind of hindrance. He is not however much of a price and although by far the most likely winner is only for those with deep pockets.
3.05 Betting Tip – DIAKALI (E/W) (10/1 Ladbrokes)
The Foxhunters’ is the other big race for the Hunter chasers following on from Cheltenham. This race is run over half a mile shorter than the Cheltenham equivalent which opens it up to those who may not have got home at Prestbury Park.
Brunswick Gold (14/1 bet365) looked badly in need of the run at Huntingdon on his only outing this season when beating his sole rival. He has his quirks but also has some solid handicap form in the book and wouldn't be the worst each way shot in the world.
MOSSEY JOE (13/8 BetVictor) is head and shoulders above these on official ratings with no qualms about ground or trip. A prep race in a point just seventeen days ago at 1/5 told us nothing we didn't already know but, as a sound jumper with a high cruising speed for this level, he looks the one to be on albeit at a short price.
Supreme Doc (8/1 Stan James) doesn’t get his head in front very often but it tends to be on good ground when he does. He is has run well fresh in the past and has not done anything in handicaps in the last year to think he is regressing at all so should enter into contention.
Warne (9/2 BetVictor) has done well for connections since finishing fourth in this contest last season winning at Fairyhouse on his most recent start. The runner up in that race was Seabass (the 2012 Grand National third) while Tammy's Hill who won the Cheltenham Foxhunters was further back in third. Katarino won this race twice in these colours so it is no surprise that he has been targeted at this race and he looks the biggest threat to the selection.
3.40 Betting Tip – MOSSEY JOE (WIN) (13/8 BetVictor)
The Red Rum Chase is always fast and furious over this flat, sharp two miles. Winners need to be accurate jumpers as well being able to travel strongly.
Arnaud (8/1 William Hill) ran with great credit when last seen at Doncaster, runner up to Valdez who is 10lbs his superior off level weights. A similar performance would see him go close but he is unlikely to get things all his own way up front.
CLARET CLOAK (4/1 William Hill) was third in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival running on strongly off a quick pace. He should get conditions to suit again here and as long as this doesn't come too quickly should be capable of getting his head in front.
4.15 Betting Tip – CLARET CLOAK (WIN) (4/1 William Hill)