RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Friday's action at the Grand National Festival from Aintree.
14:20 Aintree | Friday 5th April 2019 | ITV
A two-mile Grade 1 for novices gets the televised races underway and this looks wide open. The ground turning soft could turn this into a test and I'm willing to take on the runners of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as I'm not convinced it was a hot renewal currently.
I'm taking a big chance here on Winston C (14/1 Paddy Power). He's stepping up significantly in grade but it's highly unlikely we have seen the best of him yet. He came from the back of the field to win a slowly run handicap and off top weight it went into my notebook.
There is likely to be a bit of pace for Winston C to chase and he could pick up the pieces and pick up some prize money. I've backed him each-way.
15:25 Aintree | Friday 5th April 2019 | ITV
The Mailing Chase is one of my favourite races and down the years it's produced some top-class winners. It's lost a little of its sparkle since the Ryanair Chase was introduced at Cheltenham but this is a pretty decent renewal.
This is last chance saloon for Waiting Patiently (15/8 William Hill). He's promised to be top-class and his connections have wrapped him in cotton wool for most of his career. He fell in the King George and was second to a runaway winner last time but this is his target.
Waiting Patiently likes soft ground, missed Cheltenham to be fresh so I'm prepared to take one final chance on him here.
16:05 Aintree | Friday 5th April 2019 | ITV
The Topham Chase is an opportunity for the jockeys to get some valuable experience over the large obstacles and this looks wide open, to me, this year.
The Skeltons are masters at preparing one for a big handicap and I think this is the case here with Born Survivor (20/1 Ladbrokes). He's been set aside for this and I expect him to go close.
He's off a winning mark, has plenty of big field experience and I'm confident of a big run here. I've backed him each way for this also.
14:20 Aintree – Winston C each-way (14/1 Paddy Power)
15:25 Aintree – Waiting Patiently to win (15/8 William Hill)
16:05 Aintree – Born Survivor each-way (20/1 Ladbrokes) – NON-RUNNER