Cheltenham preview: Gold Cup hope Galvin among Aintree Grand National entries

Cheltenham preview: Gold Cup hope Galvin among Aintree Grand National entries

Only the great Golden Miller way back in 1934 managed to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same season. Trainer Gordon Elliott has entered a staggering 19 horses for this year’s National including his Gold Cup hope Galvin and dual Aintree winner Tiger Roll. We have taken a look through the 107 National entries to see how the Cheltenham Festival is likely to influence the outcome of the Aintree marathon on 9th April.

Galvin joint-favourite with Any Second Now

Whatever the outcome of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Galvin has guaranteed himself a big weight for Aintree by landing the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He edged out A Plus Tard by a short-head that day and is currently 9-2 second favourite to confirm the form. Having won last season’s National Hunt Chase over three and three-quarter miles and with form on a variety of surfaces, it is easy to see why he is prominent in the Aintree betting. 

Elliott also has high hopes for Mount Ida, currently 40-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but a best-price 25-1 for Aintree. The mare won the Kim Muir at last season’s festival and could take her chance in Saturday’s Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Elliott’s Tiger Roll is a 33-1 shot to equal Red Rum’s record of three Grand National wins but those odds will shorten dramatically if he wins the Cross Country Chase. Also entered for both races is his old rival, Easysland, now in the care of Jonjo O’Neill and likely to have a pipe-opener over hurdles this weekend.

Sharing favouritism for Aintree before the weights are announced is Any Second Now, third to Minella Times last season after being hampered at the 12th fence. He has had a couple of races over hurdles while last year’s winner fell for the first time in his career at Punchestown in December. He is also due to run at the Dublin Festival.

Longhouse Poet 33-1 for Aintree after Thyestes victory

Martin Brassil’s Longhouse Poet is a 33-1 chance for the Grand National after landing a massive gamble in last week’s Thyestes Chase. At this stage a trip to Cheltenham seems unlikely but it would be no surprise to see connections play up their winnings at Aintree in the spring. Franco De Port gave Longhouse Poet most to do at Gowran Park and he currently holds entries in the Ryanair, the Gold Cup and the Grand National.

Nicky Henderson has never won the National and he has entered his Gold Cup hope Chantry House along with Caribean Boy. The former looked all out to win the Cotswold Chase and Caribean Boy could book his place in the field in the Grand National Trial at Haydock later this month. 

If the going comes up soft at Aintree, last season’s Welsh Grand National winner Secret Reprieve must come into the reckoning. He was off the track for a year prior to finishing fifth in this season’s renewal and is still on a good handicap mark. The same applies to runner-up Highland Hunter, beaten only by the well-handicapped Iwilldoit at Chepstow.

Other entries to catch the eye are Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess, last year’s favourite Cloth Cap and fourth-placed Burrows Saint. The oldest entry is the rejuvenated Blaklion, now thirteen years of age and fourth to One For Arthur when favourite back in 2017.