RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bet from the final day of the Grand National Festival from Aintree.
1:45 Aintree | ITV
Saturday kicks-off with a staying handicap hurdle over three miles and with 22 runners on heavy ground this is likely to be a real test. It’s a very competitive looking race and I’m looking at an each-way angle here.
Mr Big Shot won his first three starts for David Pipe where he looked like a novice with huge promise. He shaped like stamina would be his main weapon as a youngster but unfortunately he met with a setback and wasn’t seen for the best part of a year.
He returned at the Cheltenham Festival finishing midfield in the Martin Pipe hurdle and looked in need of experience and a longer trip. There is always the fear he may “bounce” after such a long absence pre Cheltenham run but with improvement likely for the step up in trip and that experience under his belt he should go a lot closer here.
2:25 Aintree | ITV
The Mersey Novice Hurdle looks a fantastic race with two of the most exciting young hurdlers around going head-to-head. It would be a surprise should the race not go to On the Blind Side or Black Op and there is very little between them.
On the Blind Side missed the Cheltenham Festival due to a slight setback for which he was well fancied. He is a dual Grade 2 winner and Nicky Henderson, who has no shortage of talent in his yard, rated On the Blind Side as his top novice.
Black Op ran a huge race behind Samcro but that may have taken the edge off him. In what promises to be a fantastic dual my money is on the Henderson inmate to win this on his way to bigger things.