Grand National: Three fancied to excel at Aintree

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RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) shares his four to follow from Saturday's Grand National at Aintree, as well as sharing his views on the favourite, Tiger Roll.

Grand National | Saturday 6th April 2019, 17:15 | ITV

The Grand National is the one horse race of the year that even your gran bets on, and it's hugely popular throughout the country.

This year is perhaps the biggest build up in recent memory with the fantastic Tiger Roll a very short price to win back-to-back renewals.

I'm looking at four here at various prices that I believe will run massive races…

Rock The Kasbah (20/1 Coral)

I think Rock the Kasbah will be involved in the race and could see him sneaking into a place here. He jumps soundly and is still open to improvement, in my opinion.

He won a grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham in November where he stayed very well and after a flat effort off top weight in December, he's been kept fresh for this. He'll enjoy the ground, has the champion jockey on board and I suspect he will run well.

Step Back (28/1 Ladbrokes)

Step Back is a nine-year-old but he's got relatively new miles on the clock and looks like he will relish this extreme stamina test.

He won twice last April and seems like a spring horse so he is going to be coming into his own just now. He races prominently which is ideal over these fences where he can avoid trouble and if he gets into a rhythm he may be in contention late on here.

Walk In The Mill (28/1 888)

I like Walk In The Mill here too. He has something hugely important here, he's won over these fences before and is one of the runners you can be sure will enjoy the unique test of this race.

He's 7lbs higher in the handicap since that win and he has an additional mile to run over, however this is very much his target and he's likely to give you a good run for your money here.

Will Tiger Roll justify the short price?

I've never truly fancied a horse for the National. It's the one race of the year where you always have a niggling doubt about the horses and you are almost betting more for an interest rather than expecting to win. However this year is different.

Step forward, Tiger Roll, who at the moment is the biggest star in National Hunt racing. The defending champion has been better than ever this year and his preparations have been flawless.

An emphatic winner at Cheltenham last month, he seems a significantly better horse this year and it's the first time in my life where I expect the winner of the race last year to be competitive.

He is a short price, and I worry if any significant rain arrives, however at the moment I cannot see what beats Tiger Roll given a safe passage through the race.

Best Bets

Grand National – Rock The Kasbah each-way (20/1 Coral)

Grand National – Step Back each-way (28/1 Ladbrokes)

Grand National – Walk In The Mill (28/1 888)

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About Author

I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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