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REVEALED: Get our 3 big value bets for Saturday's Grand National

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this year’s Grand National and picks out three horses he will be backing at Aintree on Saturday 6th April.

The 2019 Grand National is almost upon us. The world of sport will come to a standstill on Saturday afternoon and millions of eyes from around the globe will look on as 40 of the horse racing’s finest chasers battle for a place in the annals of sporting history.

Following a superb triumph at the Cheltenham Festival, last year’s Aintree hero, Tiger Roll has been sitting at the head of the betting. I tipped Gordon Elliott’s charge 12 months ago and would love to see “the Tiger” make it two in a row, but I can’t bring myself to back a horse that short in a wide-open handicap like the Grand National.

Rathvinden is very lightly-raced for his age and I’d be surprised if the 2018 National Hunt Chase winner didn’t run well, despite appearing just once during the regular season. Anibale Fly looks primed to repeat his showing in last year’s National, after powering home for second in last month’s Gold Cup – so there is a chance Ireland could dominate the places at Aintree, like they did 12 months ago.

Bristol De Mai will not lead the British challenge, meaning everyone’s weight will be jacked up by four pounds when the final declarations are announced. There are, however, several eye-catching contenders from our shores who could give the battalion of Irish raiders something to think about. Here are three high-quality contenders who offer excellent value in the 2019 Grand National.

2019 Grand National Tips

VINTAGE CLOUDS (14/1 William Hill) missed out on entering last year’s Grand National by a single place. The Trevor Hemmings-owned chaser may currently be sitting five places outside the top 40, but I'd be flabbergasted if he didn't make the final cut and Sue Smith's nine-year-old looks primed for a big run at Aintree.

Consistency is a wonderful quality for any staying chaser to possess and Vintage Clouds, although only winning twice over fences, has registered a hatful of impressive results. Smith’s charge placed in the Ultima at Cheltenham and the Welsh Grand National as a second-season novice last term, rounding off his campaign with another strong performance in the Scottish National at Ayr.

Victory on his reappearance back in November was followed by a second outing in the Welsh National, but an uncharacteristic mistake early on saw Vintage Clouds fail to finish the race. A decent break and a wind-op followed and Smith’s chaser returned with a bang at Cheltenham, finishing strongly to push Beware The Bear right to the line in the Ultima.

Vintage Clouds has strong form here at Aintree, claiming a maiden victory over fences by 18 lengths in October 2017. Smith’s nine-year-old has tons of National form in the book and looks extremely well-handicapped carrying just 10-4. 

In 16 runs over fences, Vintage Clouds has finished outside the places on just four occasions. 14/1 remains an excellent each-way price.

As the Cheltenham faithful got swept away with the romanticism of Coneygree’s third-place finish in the BetVictor Handicap Chase, ROCK THE KASBAH'S (20/1 Paddy Power) victory was somewhat overshadowed. Yet, that performance was undoubtedly a career-best effort from Philip Hobbs’ chaser and he ticks plenty of boxes when searching for a Grand National winner.

A four-time winner over fences, Rock The Kasbah’s jumping has steadily improved with every outing over the larger obstacles. The only time the nine-year-old has failed to complete a race was in that attritional renewal of the Peter Marsh last year, where only five of the 13 runners made it past the post. 

Richard Johnson’s mount looked a little rusty on his reappearance at Chepstow this term, but jumped his rivals into submission and stayed on gamely to win at Cheltenham. Another outing at Cheltenham followed, where Rock The Kasbah struggled under the burden of top-weight. Hobbs has given his nine-year-old plenty of time to recover from his autumn excursions and a little extra give in the ground certainly wouldn’t dampen his chances.

Rock The Kasbah has proven his staying ability on several occasions. All of his wins have come on left-handed tracks, he’s registered victories on all types of ground and has previously appeared at the Aintree Festival. Philip Hobbs’ horses have been in much better form this season then they were during the last and Rock The Kasbah has clearly been laid out for the race. He should go well.

Anibale Fly will bid to boost the Gold Cup form in the Grand National this weekend. The only other horse lined up to appear in both races is YALA ENKI (50/1 Unibet), who was far from disgraced on the big stage at Cheltenham and Venetia Williams’ charge has been severely overlooked sitting in the bottom half of the betting.

Yala Enki has plenty of experience running in some of National Hunt race’s most grueling staying handicaps, carrying top-weight with distinction on multiple occasions. Williams has twice thrown her nine-year-old into three-and-a-half mile chases - scoring a 50-length victory in last season’s Grand National Trial, before carrying 11-11 to third in the Welsh Grand National back in December, where Yala Enki finished just five lengths behind Elegant Escape.

Charlie Deutsch was forced to tread a wide berth in the Gold Cup and struggled to keep pace with the leaders throughout. The fading Might Bite hampered Yala Enki’s progress down the home straight, but Williams’ stayer was doing his best work in the final couple of furlongs, staying on past both Presenting Percy and Shattered Love to finish seventh.

Yala Enki clearly has bundles of class and is capable of running well on all types of ground. Williams’ horses have looked in superb nick this season and Charlie Deutsch’s mount looks well treated with just 11-2 on his back. At 50/1, Yala Enki could be the best value bet in the 2019 Grand National.

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REVEALED: Get our 3 big value bets for Saturday's Grand National

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this year’s Grand National and picks out three horses he will be backing at Aintree on Saturday 6th April.

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