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Earlier on this week the Grand National weights were released and we will now start to see the horses emerge that are hopefully going to line up for the race come April. Before the biggest race in the land, we have a trial from Haydock to get tucked into. It will be interesting to see how a couple of these horses perform now going up in trip.

Bishops Road - last year's winner at Haydock

Bishops Road – last year’s winner at Haydock

One’s to watch

Blaklion is one of the horses trying this trip for the first time. The winner of last season’s RSA chase at the Cheltenham festival he has yet to fire this season but the longer trip could certainly bring about improvement. For me this raises doubts and at a price of 9/2 it’s not one for me.

Wakanda beat Blaklion last time out at Wetherby on Boxing Day. He is a previous course winner but tries this trip for the first time. He has won listed chases in the past and has won off a 1lb higher handicap mark. Wakanda also has the ability to act on any surface which is a real positive. Again though there are question marks as to whether he will stay this trip and to me that is a concern despite the aforementioned positives..

Vicente won last season’s Scottish National off a 1lb lower handicap mark than today. He hasn’t quite been at his best so far this season but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a much improved performance from him today. Certainly a decent price and one to key an eye on.

Vicente - Scottish Grand National Winner

Vicente – Scottish Grand National Winner

GoodtoKnow ran well at Warwick in the Betfred Classic before running out a ready winner at Hereford next time. My worry with him would be the fact he jumps out to his right and I do just feel he is more effective on heavier ground than what he will encounter on Saturday. For me this is enough of a reason to swerve siding witg GoodtoKnow.

Now then, onto Vieux Lion Rouge who won the Becher Chase over the National fences when last seen. He showed a good attitude to beat the course specialist Highland Lodge. The Last Samuri and One For Arthur, the winner of the Betfred Classic at Warwick, filled third and fifth spots respectively. He is a previous course winner, acts on any ground, stays well, and goes well fresh. He has only been risen 4lb for his win last time. He ran really well for a long way in last years National and I thought that was a really good performance for a novice chaser. In time he may stay the national trip. But given the way he stuck on well last time at Aintree over 3m then this step back up in trip today will surely suit him.

For me, he ticks all the boxes he stays well acts on the ground goes well fresh and with 7/1 available in a couple of places I think he is a nice each way bet.

The Jumps Punter

Don’t Forget…

For more on this race and everything else this weekend, plus a look back at last weekend, why not listen to our quickfire Podcast? The Snout, CF Tips and Architect Tips join JPW Racing Tipster as we discuss all things Grand National Trial, Irish Gold Cup and Cheltenham Antepost!



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