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Grand National Live Blog

by Aidan Elder | April 9, 2011

For all you visitors only making your once a year trip for the Grand National, first allow me to ‘tut, tut’ disapprovingly in your general direction for your lack of regular visits. Now that’s out of the way, allow me to extend a warm welcome to today’s Live Grand National Blog. The aim is to keep you up to speed with all the essential news coming from Aintree ahead of the big race. Or failing that, just throw some hurtful insults around. If you need any clarification on what normally happens, give this a read.

As ever, I encourage contributions from everyone, especially if they’re shamelessly flattering and transparent. You can follow me on twitter if you’re that way inclined or just bang your tips, comments or general musings on life into the comments section below.

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5.12pm: That’s about it from me. Hope your luck was in today and if not, why not try it elsewhere which one of the many excellent betting opportunities around paddypower.com this evening?!

4.50pm:
‘WTF? What happened to my horse?’ Round Up
6th The Midnight Club
7th Big Fella Thanks
8th Surface To Air
9th Skippers Brig
10th Backstage
11th King Fontaine
12th Silver By Nature
13th In Compliance
14th Bluesea Cracker
15th Character Building
16th Golden Kite
17th Chief Dan George
18th Royal Rosa
19th Piraya

Fallers, Unseated etc.
1st fence – That’s Rhythm
2nd fence – Becauseicouldntsee, Vic Venturi
4th fence – Calgary Bay, Ornais
6th fence – Dooney’s Gate, The Tother One, West End Rocker, Or Noir De Somoza
10th fence – Tidal Bay
11th fence – Quolibet
13th fence – Grand Slam Hero
16th fence – Quinz
18th fence – Can’t Buy Time
24th fence – Majestic Concorde
27th fence – What A Friend, Killyglen, Santa’s Son
28th fence – Comply Or Die, Arbor Supreme
29th fence – Hello Bud


4.40pm: And once again the McCain family claim the Grand National. Ballabriggs avoids the chaos to claim the big prized. Oscar Time pushed him all the way only to narrowly miss out. Don’t Push It put a valiant attempt to defend his title, but had to settle for third and State of Play and Niche Market stayed on for 4th and 5th place respectively.

The Result
1st Ballabriggs 14/1
2nd Oscar Time 14/1
3rd Don’t Push It 9/1
4th State Of Play 28/1
5th Niche Market 16/1

4.18pm: Now they’re away for the Grand National.

4.15pm: And they’re off precisely on time in the Grand National …
Only joking. They’re not. It’s gonna take a few minutes yet.

3.50pm:
Market Mover

The Midnight Club now into 7/1 …

3.46pm: Did anyone else hear that during the BBC’s Grand National preview??! I can’t say exactly what was said, but this should give you a fair idea of what I’m getting at:

3.45pm:
Market Mover
Half an hour (plus whatever we have to add on for messing around at the start) to go until the Grand National. The latest from the market is The Midnight Club has been eased slightly to 9/1. Don’t Push It continues to drift and is now 11/1 after starting the day at 9/1. There’s a move for former winner Comply Or Die who’s now 25s from 40s. A few people put up That’s Rhythm as a lively outsider and they’re clearly very influential as he’s into to 66/1 from 150/1.

3.33pm: It was a messy race, but it doesn’t matter to Prince De Beauchene as he stays on best of all to win the John Smith’s Handicap Chase. Categorical takes second with Reve De Sivola getting up for third.

The Result
1st Prince De Beauchene 10/1
2nd Categorical
3rd Reve De Sivola

3.26pm: Even allowing for my abysmal betting record that is special! Take The Breeze brought down at the first.

3.25pm: They’re away and running in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase …

3.15pm: We’re warming up for the wide open handicap that is the Grand National with a wide open handicap. Great Endeavour heads the John Smith’s Handicap Chase Betting. He looked every bit the winner when falling at Cheltenham and it’s easy to see why he’s being backed to gain compensation to day. There’s a lot with chances in this, but I’m going to go for Take The Breeze and the fuzzy logic for that is I reckon he’s open to improvement and it’s rare to see a Walsh/Nicholls runner in a handicap at such a big price.

3.03pm: Rafa Benitez is still hanging around Aintree. He says training horses must be difficult because they can’t talk back. Can’t be as difficult as trying to turn Ryan Babel into a decent winger.

2.56pm: Henderson lands his treble and Barry Geraghty gets in on the act by seeing Oscar Whisky home. Thousand Stars under Katie Walsh comes close to claiming the honours and Salden Licht takes 3rd in a race that saw the two market leaders badly disappoint.

The Result
1st Oscar Whisky 6/1
2nd Thousand Stars
3rd Salden Licht

2.50pm: They’re away in the Aintree Hurdle …

2.48pm: Here’s the beauty I’m backing for the National. I’ve backed worse.

2.40pm:
Market Mover
As terrible as his tipping skills are, Paddy did get one thing right. There’s been a huge surge of money for The Midnight Club in the Grand National and he’s back into favouritism after slipping down the pecking order for the last couple of days. Don’t Push It has been nudged out to 10/1 from 9/1 and another JP McManus runner, Can’t Buy Time has come in from 100/1 outsider to only a 50/1 outsider.

2.33pm: Our esteemed leader, Paddy Power is being interviewed on BBC1. John Parrott does some top class lick-arsing by calling him ‘quite a judge’. Lie.

2.30pm: What a hand to have on your side when you’re looking to make it three wins from three races on Grand National Day. Henderson has former Champion Hurdle Binocular and Oscar Whisky going for the Aintree Hurdle and they’re currently 2nd and 3rd favourites in the betting. The market says Peddlers Cross is the one to beat and it’s hard to argue with that after his performance when second in the Champion Hurdle.

2.20pm: Nicky Henderson doesn’t have a runner in the National, but it’s been a good day for him regardless. Finian’s Rainbow stays on well to make it a quickfire double for the trainer/jockey/owner combination. And best wishes to Peter Toole who took an awful fall off Classic Fly early in the race.

>u>The Result
1st Finian’s Rainbow 10/11F
2nd Ghizao

2.15pm: The Maghull Novices’ Chase begins … I didn’t get around to previewing it, but given my tipping success, that’s no great loss!

1.51pm: Spirit Son powers home to win the Mersey Novices Hurdle. Sam Winner fades badly after travelling well whilst Cue Card and Rock On Ruby make up the places.

The Result
1st Spirit Son 3/1
2nd Cue Card
3rd Rock On Ruby

1.45pm: Grnd National Day (proper) is underway as they set off in the Merseyside Hurdle …

1.37pm: It’s not all about the Grand National today. 90% of it is, but not all of it. The The Mersey Novices’ Hurdle could be a bit of a cracker and I’m going against the better judgement of Ruby Walsh and siding with Rock On Ruby.

1.10pm: Mick Fitzgerald is tipping up The Midnight Club in the Grand National and he’s probably worth listening to seeing as he won the race back in 1996 on board Rough Quest.

12.50pm: The racing gets underway in under an hour with the The Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. That’s just enough time to organise some low level financial swindling. Check out our Grand National Sweepstake Kit. Whether you rig it is entirely up to you.

12.42pm: Rafa Benitez is on Football Focus being broadcast from Aintree. Judging the amount of donkeys he managed to back whilst in charge of Liverpool, I won’t be paying too much attention to his tips.

12.22pm: A lot of people pick their horses for the Grand National based on names that have a vague connection to their own lives. Here’s some suggested bets that might apply to people from various walks of life.

Niche Market – if you’re a pornographer specialising the ‘midget on medieval wench’ action.
Character Building – if you’ve ever sat through an episode of The Only Way Is Essex
The Tother One – If you’ve ever had a fling with Wayne Rooney, but aren’t Coleen
Can’t Buy Time – if you’re on the board of directors of News Corp (one for the publishing industry there)
Grand Slam Hero – if you’re Roger Federer

Stick your own suggestions in the comments section below and if they give us a big enough chuckle, who knows, there may be some Free Bets in it.

12.03pm: Sir Alex Ferguson won’t be in attendance to watch What A Friend run in the Grand National. The hosre racing and refree bashing enthuisast he has to be at Old Trafford to witness his Man Utd team play labour to a 1-0 win over Fulham that has the pundits purring ‘winning when you’re not playing well is the sign of champions’ for about the 600th time this season.

11.40am: If you haven’t already jumped on the Aintree Naps bandwagon, then why not give it a go for Grand National Day> It’s free to enter and with a bit of luck you could win the daily prize and with a lot of luck and some mild bribery, possibly win the competition overall. Aintree Naps Competition

10.58am: It looks like a lovely day Aintree, which means we’re on high alert for excessive unsightly flesh. The going for Grand National day is being given as
Good, Good To Soft in places.

10.15am: The Grand National is still looking very stable, but there’s been a good bit of movement in one of the appetisers for the big race – The Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. Sam Winner has been backed into to 3/1 from 7/2, but one to keep an eye on is Storm Brig, who is now 25/1 after being as big as 50/1 earlier this morning.

9.42am: If you fancy living like royalty for a few seconds, why not back Oscar Time in the Grand National? Or hire a butler to go down to the bookies and put the bet on for you? Prince William is said to be backing him in the Grand National. The reason I’m treating this claim with a note of caution is the story comes from the Sun. They say Sam-Waley Cohen, the Gold Cup winning jockey who rides Oscar Time today is responsible for getting him back together with Kate Middleton. By reminding Wills of his rapidly thining hair and pointing out he probably won’t do much better. Ok, I made that last bit up, but the story is from the Sun, so the chances it’s all made up.

9.25am: For all you Manchester United fans out there, there’s really only one choice for your Grand National punt. That’s right, I’m talking about West End Rocker – named after the part of London you more than likely come from ; )

9.03am: Pricewise is such a successful punter I reckon that his actual betting advice for the lottery of the Grand National would be ‘keep your money in your pocket’ but he’s contractually obliged to provide tips so he has cast his eye over the runners and riders for today’s big one. He’s gone for Quinz having already told you to back Backstage and Oscar Time.

8.53am: Now it’s Friends were Chandler is insecure, but managing to hide it with some sarcastic comments. He’d be perfect for the Paddy Power Journalist team.

8.47am: Anastasia lookalike, Mrs. Jamie Spencer gave a couple of tips for today that weren’t for the Grand National, so to be honest, I stopped paying attention to her. The rest of the team played the game however and if you like placing your bets based on what the Morning Line team tell you to do, this is for you:

– Bookending the market, Tanya has gone for The Midnight Club near the top of the betting and That’s Rhythm (150/1!) near the bottom.
– John Francome has told us Skippers Brig is going to win in that no nonsense way of his.
– Giving Graham Lee a big shout-out Alice goes for Big Fella Thanks.
– Nick Luck puts his eggs in a couple of baskets namely the baskets of Bluesea Cracker and Dooney’s Gate.
– Big Mac does the same but instead oting for Quinz and Arbor Supreme.

Shamless Plug
8.32am: And it’s time for our first Shameless Plug iof Grand National Day. This is very corporate and kiss-ass, but it annoys me and I have a log-in for this blog so I’m going to vent. A representative from one of the pantomine villain bookmakers only paying 4 places on the Grand National (we’re paying 5 because we’re nice) has defended her firm’s position by saying they’re not offering an extra place because they’re offering better odds than the bookies paying 5 places. Utter bollocks! A quick look at an odds comparison site tells me they’re best price on 7 of the 40 runners whilst the awesome Paddy Power are best price on 8 AND paying 5 places! I will lay my cards on the table and tell you I am being paid by them. I hope.
That’s enough brown-nosing for the moment.

8.26am: Here’s Paddy Power’s resident horse racing experts (and Tom) giving their Grand National tips:

8.18am: It’s a fairly slow Morning Line, even by the not especially pacey stndards of the Morning Line, so let’s that a look at how the market for the Grand National is shaping up. After being favourite for a long time, The Midnight Club has been leap-frogged by defending champion Don’t Push It who’s now 9/1. Not much movement in the market just yet, but that will all change when the grannies get their purple rinses done and hitting the betting shops.

8.01am:The Aintree clerk of the course is being interviewed. He’s predicting tempratures of 21 celsius today. Totally tropical.

7.55am: It’s over to the Morning Line on Channel 4 where no-one seems to have made any great effort because they don’t have the rights to show the Grand National.

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