NAP: Stick with Any Second Now
Any Second Now – 17:15 Aintree
Any Second Now shaped a lot better than the bare result when third in last year’s Grand National, ultimately passing the post around eight lengths behind Minella Times after meeting significant interference. He had just recovered from his sole blunder at the tenth fence when he was nearly brought to a standstill by the fallen Double Shuffle at the twelfth. The way he got back into contention was impressive and he left the impression that he may even have gone close to winning with a clear round.
On just his third start this season after a couple of low-key runs over hurdles, Any Second Now produced a top-class performance to win the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last time, staying on strongly to get the verdict by a nose from Escaria Ten. That form makes him the pick of the weights and he is very much the one to beat.
NEXT BEST: Don’t rule out Delta Work
Delta Work – 17:15 Aintree
Gordon Elliott saddles seven runners as he seeks a record-equalling fourth success in the Grand National, the best of which could be Delta Work, a former Irish Gold Cup winner who denied Tiger Roll a fairytale ending to his career when beating him by three quarters of a length in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last time.
Delta Work took brilliantly to that course and he should make a bold bid to follow up his Cross Country success as Tiger Roll did in both 2018 and 2019. He is a strong stayer and potentially on a very good mark for a formerly top-class performer.
EACH-WAY: Death Duty has decent claims
Death Duty – 17:15 Aintree
Death Duty is another of Elliott’s runners in the Gigginstown colours who could go well at longer odds. A former Grade 1 winner as a novice, he hasn’t had that much racing in recent seasons and took advantage of a slip in the weights when winning the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February, relishing the step up to three and a half miles on heavy ground.
Though only sixth in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time, that was a creditable performance from Death Duty behind some younger, unexposed rivals. He shapes like he will be suited by this marathon trip and a mark of 144 is potentially lenient judged on the pick of his form.