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Find out our top Placepot selections for Grand National day at Aintree as we go through Saturday’s card

The Paddy Power Blog team go through the Aintree card in an attempt to scoop a potentially tasty Placepot on one of the most exciting days of the year in jumps racing

by Josh Powell | April 10, 2015

A winning Placepot bet on a Saturday’s racing can be an elusive beast – but one that if won, can lead to an untold amount of admiring glances and flirty tinder messages from the opposite sex. Probably. What we do know is that, with a bit of luck you can pocket a fair wad of cash for a relatively small bet, and the beauty is you don’t even need to necessarily win a race! Simply get your six horses in the frame and you’re on easy street.

Saturday’s Grand National meeting at Aintree has thrown up a couple of lucrative pots in the last couple of years – paying £1,633.80 to a £1 line last year and £2,277.10 to a £1 line the year before. That’s enough to hook us in at a shot to win a tasty prize, and here’s who we fancy in Saturday’s Placepot.


Leg 1: Parlour Games and Days Of Heaven

We’re going with two shots in the first leg purely because nobody likes to be out in the first race – it’s like seeing your football accumulator go down the swanny after the 12.45pm kick-off. Parlour Games has been in the first two in seven of his eight hurdles and most recently chased Windsor Park home in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham with Nichols Canyon in third. Trainer John Ferguson is bullish and with AP McCoy on board, Parlour Games has every chance of making the frame. We’ve also thrown in Nicky Henderson’s Days Of Heaven just in case however. He has won his last three hurdle races on the spin, and although he can be a rascal early on, he seems to be maturing and could take this step up in Grade in his stride.


Leg 2: Gods Own

A six runner race means we’re only getting two places here but Gods Own is a confident selection. He gallantly chased home the unstoppable Un De Sceaux to finish second in the Arkle at the Festival and is the only one of this field with a Grade 1 place under his belt. Notably he is rated 160 and racing off a mark far higher than anything else and that suggests he should be hard to beat. Tom George’s horse has made the frame in six of his eight races over fences and should be bang in the mix at Aintree again.

Leg 3: Zarkandar

Paul Nicholls’ Zarkandar comes into the race after finishing third in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham. He was arguably travelling better than the winner Cole Harden before nearly hitting the deck two fences from home, and can reverse the form here. He is a multiple Grade 1 winner who will enjoy the conditions and who has two Aintree wins to his name already. Whisper (below) is a course and distance winner who performed below par in the World Hurdle, but back on a flatter track Zarkander should have the better off him.


Leg 4: Vino Griego and Buywise

Vino Griego’s recent form figures are hardly inspiring – he was beaten 50 lengths in January at Doncaster and pulled up twice before that – but bear with us. He’s been dropped down to a chase mark of 139, despite only being beaten a head in this race off 146. The re-opposing Duke Of Lucca who won this race last year was 12lb better off than Vino Griego when beating him a head, but this year he is just 2lb lighter. That makes our choice 10lb better off. Going into last year’s race Vino Griego’s record was pulled up, pulled up, 13th, so we’re hoping lightning can strike twice off the back of some dodgy form but with a decent weight on his back. To try to get through a tricky leg we’re also throwing in Buywise. Fourth in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham over 2m5f, he looks like he’ll relish the step up in trip and has some nice Grade 2 form to his name.


Leg 5: Rocky Creek, First Lieutenant and Al Co

Taking a few of the key trends into account these are the horses that we’ve picked out to carry our Placepot hopes through the trickiest race of them all. The trends the trio hit our:

  • Aged between nine and 11
  • Finished in the top five last time out
  • Last run was between 16 and 56 days ago
  • Have between three and seven chase wins
  • Have proven stamina over three-mile
  • Have a nice weight on their back (basically less than 11-6)


Leg 6: One For The Guv’nr and Dormello Mo

If we get to leg six we’ve got two chances to bag the pot. First up Nicky Henderson’s One For The Guv’nr. He has two convincing hurdle wins to his name including a six length victory off a mark of 135 at Kempton in March. One For The Guv’nr is off the same mark here and seems to be ahead of the handicapper, while the word out of the yard is very promising for this hurdler. Dormello Mo was disappointing at the Cheltenham Festival, but bounced back with a win at Plumpton last week. He’s off a very winnable mark of 133 and despite some iffy form, could be the one to sneak into the frame and secure our prize.

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