Minella Times, Rachael Blackmore
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Grand National tips: Minella Times bidding for back-to-back wins

| 07.04.2022

Five Grand National tips for Aintree

The Grand National is the world’s most famous steeplechase and one of the biggest days on the sporting calendar.

It is the race all trainers and jockeys want to win and the 4m2f contest at Aintree will have a full field of 40 going to post once again on Saturday afternoon with all the action live on ITV1 at 5.15pm.

We have taken a look at the Grand National betting to pick out five Grand National tips for the big race.

Minella Times (10/1)

Rachael Blackmore made history when guiding Minella Times to victory in 2021 and it would be no surprise to see the defending champion make a bold bid once again in 2022.

The extended 4m2f trip and the Aintree fences brought about a career best from the nine-year-old, who built on some fine efforts in defeat in his native Ireland to secure the win when it mattered most.

Minella Times, Rachael Blackmore, Grand National Tips

He took full advantage of a mark which in hindsight was extremely lenient, but will be 15lb higher this time around having been allotted a mark of 161.

That means he has to take his chance from top weight, but he could be well worth that rise in the ratings as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Roll and win back-to-back Grand Nationals.

History suggests that will be no mean feat, but the first of our Grand National tips is already a proven Aintree performer and handler Henry de Bromhead believes he has the son of Oscar back to his very best ahead of his return to Liverpool.

Escaria Ten (11/1)

It is foolish to ignore Gordon Elliott in the Grand National and he could saddle any number of horses with a real chance of handing him a record-equalling fourth victory in the race.

However, it could be Escaria Ten who proves best of the Cullentra House collective and he looks to have the perfect profile for the race.

He was a close-up third behind Galvin (first) and Next Destination in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season and the form of that race had been given a huge boost by the winner, who has gone on to run in a Gold Cup this season.

Escaria Ten’s allotted mark of 152 looks a real blot on the handicap and he looks to have a real chance of Aintree glory following his seasonal bow in the Thyestes Chase and narrow second in the Bobbyjo Chase.

The eight-year-old was denied late on in a thrilling finish by last season’s Grand National third Any Second Now in that Fairyhouse contest and that race has been a key Grand National trial for some time now.

A proven stayer who could have any amount of progression still to come, the gelding has to be one of our Grand National tips.

Top Ville Ben (66/1)

The north of England has a rich history with the Grand National and last won the race with Auroras Encore in 2013.

The best northern-trained contender this year could be Top Ville Ben, who hails from Phil Kirby’s Green Oaks Farm in Richmond.

The 10-year-old was third in a Grade One at Aintree as a novice chaser and was having a great time in his first appearance over the Grand National fences in the Becher Chase earlier this season, contesting the lead and jumping like a stag before falling at the 12th.

Top Ville Ben, Grand National Tips

A steadfast jumper on the whole, the son of Beneficial will have learnt he can’t take any chances when meeting with the famous birch once again and showed he was none the worse for that tumble when third in Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick chase on Boxing Day, a renowned Grand National Trial.

He has since been seen over hurdles as operation ‘preserve a mark of 148’ has taken full effect and he showed his class when winning the valuable Cazoo Hurdle at the Winter Million meeting at Lingfield.

That was followed up by another brave effort over the smaller obstacles at Haydock and he is likely to head to Aintree criminally overlooked in the Grand National betting and therefore has to be included as one of our Grand National tips.

Burrows Saint (20/1)

If you stopped the race two from home 12 months ago, the horse who looked most like the winner would be Burrows Saint, who was relishing the challenge of the famous Aintree birch and giving his rider Patrick Mullins a dream spin near the front end of the action.

However, disaster struck when the pace picked up close to home and in a matter of strides his dreams went up in smoke as the petrol light flashed red and the gelding could only trudge home in fourth as Blackmore and Minella Times stormed off into the distance.

A year older and perhaps wiser, the son of Saint Des Saints is in line for another crack at the Grand National and is sure to have plenty of supporters with head of handicapping Martin Greenwood giving him the chance to compete once again off a rating of 156.

If maturity means he stays the 4m2f marathon trip better this time around, then there is every chance the next of our Grand National tips gives Willie Mullins a second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Run Wild Fred (14/1)

We look to Elliott once again for the last of our Grand National tips and his Run Wild Fred could be the pick of those carrying the famous maroon colours of Gigginstown House Stud that have been worn to Grand National success by both Rule The World and Tiger Roll in the past.

Although only once a winner over fences, there is plenty of substance to his form book and a whole host of impressive performances in defeat that suggest a big pot will soon be heading his way.

A Grade Three winner over hurdles, the eight-year-old has finished second in a Grade One chase over three miles at Leopardstown and also has seconds in the Thyestes Chase, an Irish Grand National and a National Hunt Chase on his CV.

This has been the plan ever since he was a runaway winner of the Troytown Chase at Navan earlier this term, when he pulled over seven lengths clear of last year’s Grand National fifth Farclas, and he has all the attributes to put up a bold showing in Liverpool.

A dour stayer, he also has a touch of class, and is the choice of two-time Grand National-winning rider Davy Russell.

View the latest Grand National odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Warren Barner