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Grand National Festival Tips – Thursday

Coral are offering a Through the Card promo today at Aintree – bet £10 on the first race (1.40pm) and get £30 of free bets to spend on the remaining races.

Meanwhile, Paddy Power are offering all customers a free bet of up to £25 on every race at Aintree today, if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite.

They are also offering new customers an enhanced Aintree Thursday Treble of 20/1 (from 6/1) for Cue Card, Annie Power and Ivanovich Gorbatov all to win.

Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Chase     RUK

The ground conditions have changed at Aintree overnight ahead of their first day of the Grand National meeting.

The runners in the first race, the Manifesto Novices’ Chase, will tackle the best of the ground as the going on the chase course on the Mildmay circuit is good to soft, soft in places, whereas it is soft, good to soft in places on the hurdles and Grand National circuits.

The two market leaders in the opener look worth opposing and having had a Cheltenham to forget, GARDE LA VICTOIRE can get Phillips Hobbs and Richard Johnson off to a great start at the season’s second biggest festival.

He won’t mind the rain and this trip looks ideal for him, even though he has been winning over shorter trips.

A case can be made for both rank outsiders, Aso and Volnay De Thaix, but the best option of those at bigger prices could be BOUVREUIL, who seems to be improving fast for Paul Nicholls and was only just denied by a well handicapped horse at Prestbury Park three weeks ago.

Garde La Victoire (ew)1.40 Aintree4/1Paddy Power, Coral
Bouvreuil (ew)1.40 Aintree16/1Ladbrokes

Betfred Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle     CH4

Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov heads the field for the Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle and his connections won’t have enjoyed seeing the rain falling last night.

The third from that race, FOOTPAD, looks the one to be on today as he was given plenty to do in the Triumph and a more positive ride on this softer surface can see him reverse form. He probably has his stablemate, Apple’s Jade, to beat.

The outsiders of note are AZZURI and DOUBLY CLEVER, as both look to have better chances than their prices suggest. We are struggling to split the two and, given their monster prices, think they are both worth a small each way interest.

Footpad (win)2.15 Aintree6/1Stan James
Azzuri (ew)2.15 Aintree28/1Bet365, Coral
Doubly Clever (ew)2.15 Aintree50/1Bet365

Betfred Bowl Chase     CH4

The day’s feature race is the Betfred Bowl and it would be great to see CUE CARD gain compensation here for his unlucky demise in the Gold Cup recently.

He should be backed in a double with Annie Power, who looks to have strong claims in the Aintree Hurdle that follows.

The more rain that falls the better the chances of Don Poli and Djakadam in the Bowl, but this race has thrown up some surprises in the past and so it is worth having an outsider on board too.

Dynaste ran a more encouraging race in the Ryanair recently and has good course form, but of slightly more appeal is TAQUIN DU SEUIL, who finished just ahead of Dynaste at Cheltenham.

That was his second run back after a long absence and with the “bounce” factor now out of the equation he could run well here as the longer trip is probably what he needs these days.

Irish Cavalier would have been interesting had the rain stayed away.

Betfair are offering new customers enhanced odds of 6/1 (from 6/5) on Cue Card to win the Aintree Bowl here or 10/1 (from 5/2) on Djakadam to win here.

Cue Card & Annie Power (win double)2.50 & 3.25 Aintree12/5Sky Bet
Taquin Du Seuil (ew)2.50 Aintree33/1Betfair

Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle     CH4

Only Nichols Canyon seems to have a realistic chance of beating Annie Power, but the longer trip will suit the mare just as much as it will Willie Mullins’ other runner and the only angle we can find in the race is to back CAMPING GROUND each way.

He could never land a blow in the Champion Hurdle, but the rain will help him here and today’s trip is much more suitable.

Paddy Power here and Betfair here are both offering new customers enhanced odds of 4/1 (from 4/7) for Annie Power to win the Aintree Hurdle.

Camping Ground (ew)3.25 Aintree28/1Paddy Power

Out tips in the later races are:

Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase     CH4

Monkey Kingdom (ew)4.05 Aintree25/1Bet365, Paddy Power
Major Malarkey (ew)4.05 Aintree20/1Bet365
Marasonnien (ew)4.05 Aintree8/1Bet365

Betfred Red Rum Handicap Chase     CH4

Bright New Dawn (ew)4.40 Aintree16/1Bet365, Paddy Power
Dandridge (ew)4.40 Aintree8/1Bet365

Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race     RUK

Kayf Grace (ew)5.15 Aintree16/1Betfair
Storm Patrol (ew)5.15 Aintree20/1Paddy Power