The excitement for the 2019 Grand National continues to gather as the biggest race in the UK calendar draws ever closer.
Tiger Roll held on for victory in a dramatic photo finish with Pleasant Company last year, but who will be take the honours this year?
Can Tiger Roll make it back-to-back Nationals?
Coupled with last year’s success, his impressive run at the Cheltenham Festival just a few weeks ago, where he won the Cross Country by a staggering 22 lengths, make him look like the horse to beat.
Those odds though are far too short in a 40-horse contest and we all know absolutely anything can happen over the National course.
There is plenty of value in a number of horses, but my first pick is Lake View Lad at 14/1.
The Nick Alexander trained nine-year-old is a very consistent sort and from his 12 runs over fences, he has only finished out of the top-three on one occasion.
Owner Trevor Hemmings also loves the Grand National having won the race three times in the past and has a number of strong contenders for a fourth with Lake View Lad likely to be joined by Warriors Tale and Vintage Clouds.
Lake View Lad also heads to Aintree on the back of a third in the Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival so is bang in form and the only slight concern is that this will be his first run over these fences, but if he takes to the track well then he will have a leading chance.
Gordon Elliott eyes third National win
My other fancy is Alpha Des Obeaux at 33/1.
Trainer Gordon Elliott will come primed to the 2019 Grand National with plenty of strong chances for a third win to back up his successes in 2007 with Silver Birch and last year with Tiger Roll.
A lot of the winners of the National over the years have had previous experience in the race and though the nine-year-old fell at the 15th last year while in contention, he has effectively tackled every fence in the race and that could stand him in good stead.
That would naturally lead to people having concerns over his jumping, and though he will also be carrying top weight as things stand, he is another who heads to the Merseyside track in good form with a second at Fairyhouse in February.
Couple that with the fact he’s another year older and stronger, he could run a big race at a price.
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