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Ruby Walsh Grand National Tips

Ruby Walsh has won two Aintree Grand Nationals and the legendary jockey has been giving his verdict on this year's renewal of the world's most famous steeplechase.

Walsh has been giving the Paddy Power blog his tips on Saturday's contest and he has picked out his 1-2-3-4-5 in the feature!

Ruby's Grand National five

1 - MANY CLOUDS
2 - Shutthefrontdoor
3 - Silviniaco Conti
4 - Pendra
5 - Ucello Conti
1. MANY CLOUDS

The reigning champ was a good winner last year where arguably the race was an after-thought after he won his early-season target, the Hennessy Gold Cup. He’s had a much more focused campaign this year and there’s no doubts about his ability to handle the unique demands of the Aintree fences or the stamina-sapping 4m 2f trip.

Red Rum was the last horse to record back-to-back wins in the National (you’ve heard of him Matt right?)  and Many Clouds looks like he’s made for the place and is still lightly-raced.

2. SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR 

He travelled sweetly here last year for a long way to finish fifth where it appeared he didn’t quite see out the trip. He’s a year older and wiser now and Jonjo O’Neill is a great trainer of long-distance chasers. Despite a bad run at Newbury (where there was a valid excuse for his performance) he looks sure to figure again.

3. SILVINIACO CONTI

I know Paul Nicholls’ runner well having ridden him from 2011 to 2013 and we fell behind Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham 2013 Gold Cup. He’s a class act, jumps well, but the one question mark to me concerns his stamina. You could say that about half the field though, so I’m happy to leave him in.

4. PENDRA

Charlie Longsdon’s runner has improved quietly throughout the season and is at the right end of the weights too. Owned by J P McManus, he’s a very good jumper and could be a solid each-way shout at a good price.

5. UCELLO CONTI

I think the Irish challenger Ucello Conti will go well. He’s only had three runs this season and the form of his second-placed finish in the Paddy Power Chase in December and the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park gives him a chance. He jumps and stays well and should give Daryl Jacob (won the GN on Neptune Collognes in 2012) a good spin.

Big race preview

The excitement ahead of the £1million Aintree Grand National continues to build and punters can look forward to another ferociously competitive running of the race.

Register with bet365, claim £200 in bonus bets and get Best Odds Guaranteed on the Aintree Grand National.

Selections:

SILVINIACO CONTI (12/1, Ladbrokes)

MORNING ASSEMBLY (33/1, bet365)

The four-mile war continues to be the most daunting punting puzzle on the racing calendar and finding the winner can be as challenging as the gruelling National course itself.  Ante post players will have had their selection in mind for some time and shrewd race fans will know that the earlier you get your bets on the more value you are going to get in the betting jungle.

This year's market is headed by Many Clouds and one of the only certainties in this year’s contest is that he will put up a bold defence of his title.  The favourite is sure to be popular with punters and the handicapper certainly looks to have given the jolly a chance, allowing him to race off a mark of 165, 1lb lower than his official current rating of 166.

The horse won off a mark of 160 last year and he has been putting up good performances under his current rating this season so he certainly looks to have a huge chance at the weights.

He is likely to be very popular in the build up to post time, but he is going to have to run the race of his life if he is to hold off the challenge of multiple Grade One-winning superstar SILVINIACO CONTI.

Paul Nicholls' stable star brings a touch of class to proceedings and it was only thirteen months ago that he was heading into the Cheltenham Gold Cup as the highest rated chaser in training.  Seven victories at the highest level in his impressive career makes him one of the most exciting horses to have ever contested the National and it's surprising to see that the bookmakers are offering such generous odds on the ten-year-old.

Despite a small blip when he was pulled up in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, Silviniaco Conti has been running some huge races over the last two seasons and his most recent victory in the Ascot Chase in February was one of his best to date.  With first time blinkers in place, the selection looked the winner a long way from home and and he displayed all of the qualities that have made him so successful over the last few years.  The talented Dynaste was twenty lengths back in second and the likes of Flemenstar and Triolo D'Alene could not live with the 2/1 favourite.

That victory arguably gives him the best form going into this year's National and he is sure to enjoy a return to Aintree on Saturday.  Layers will point to stamina issues but he is by the same sire as Paul Nicholls' previous National winner Neptune Collonges and connections are adamant that he will stay the gruelling trip.

It's difficult to think of a horse in training that jumps their fences as efficiently as the gelding and jockey Noel Fehily is more than capable of keeping the horse out of trouble.  A proven talent with a huge engine on his side, Silviniaco Conti looks a superb bet and he will be a tough nut to crack.

At bigger odds, MORNING ASSEMBLY makes plenty of appeal for Ireland and he is another horse that has a touch of class in Saturday's contest.

The Grand National has been the the ultimate target for Morning Assembly since he returned from a long lay off in January and connections have done well to protect his handicap mark heading into this weekend's feature.  His creditable fourth in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month was proof that there is a lot to work with off a rating of 150 and he travelled and jumped well at Prestbury Park.

It looked like he tightened up towards the end of the race and he is likely to strip a lot fitter on Merseyside this weekend.  If he can improve again then he certainly has the form to land a blow and his third in the 2014 RSA Chase and his victory over Gold Cup hero Don Cossack in 2013 shows he has top class form in his locker.

Pat Fahy's chaser is an exciting horse who remains very lightly raced and he is another horse who looks to have been underestimated by the bookmakers. 

Selections:

SILVINIACO CONTI (12/1, Ladbrokes)

MORNING ASSEMBLY (33/1, bet365)

Noel Fehily riding Silviniaco Conti.

Grand National Runners & Race Cards

HorseAgeWeightRatingPrice
Vieux Lion Rouge810-74 stars 10/1
Blaklion810-103 stars14/1
Definitely Red810-114 stars14/1
Cause of Causes910-85 stars16/1
One For Arthur810-64 stars16/1
The Last Samurai911-54 stars16/1
More of That911-13 stars20/1
Pleasant Company910-114 stars20/1
Saphir Du Rheu811-43 stars20/1
The Young Master810-84 stars20/1
Ucello Conti910-73 stars20/1
see all Grand National Runners

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