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.
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.
MORNING ASSEMBLY (33/1, bet365)
Noel Fehily riding Silviniaco Conti.