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UK racing tips – Saturday 13 April 2024

It’s Grand National Day at the Aintree Festival! Get all of your tips and picks for this third day’s racing here.

Runners and riders pass the grandstand in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle during day two of the Randox Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Picture date: Friday April 14, 2023.

It’s Grand National Day at the Aintree Festival! Get all of your tips and picks for this third day’s racing here.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Race 1 – WEST BALBOA 5/2

Dan Skelton again proved his prowess at getting one ready for a repeat win in a valuable handicap at Cheltenham and Aintree specialist WEST BALBOA can bolster his title aspirations.

This lightly-raced mare landed some nice bets when powering home by five lengths in last year’s renewal of the William Hill Handicap Hurdle and hammered Brewin’upastorm by 12 lengths here in November.

That rival recently franked the form with a Grade Two success at Fairyhouse and West Balboa looks primed for a return to top form following a solid effort over a shorter trip at Kempton last month.


Paul Nicholls will bid to hit back with expensive new recruit Caldwell Potter in the Grade One Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle but preference is for his former stablemate BRIGHTERDAYSAHEAD.

Gordon Elliott was in a particularly bullish mood ahead of her trip to Cheltenham but Golden Ace stayed on better up the Prestbury Park hill to upset odds-on backers.

That race got a little bit messy rounding the home turn but Aintree is expected to suit the much-vaunted five-year-old far better and Jack Kennedy will hopefully be able to deliver her with a smoother challenge.

Race 3 – CREBILLY 7/2

CREBILLY did really well to finish second of 21 behind Shakem Up’Arry in the Plate at Cheltenham after not quite getting his jumping right and he remains a horse with plenty of potential.

A previous win over Tahmuras at Exeter was very encouraging and it should be remembered that Jonjo O’Neill’s charge finished off last season strongly with a fine Sandown success, so he is worth support in the William Hill Handicap Chase, with a step up in distance only adding to the appeal.

Race 4 – SIRE DU BERLAIS 11/2

SIRE DU BERLAIS lost momentum with a slow jump four out in the Stayers’ Hurdle and then dropped to the back of the field when hitting a flat spot, so he showed plenty of spirit to rally for fifth place in the circumstances.

Time may be catching up with him at the age of 12 and this could be a case of letting the heart rule the head, but he is backed to continue his love affair with Aintree by completing a JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle hat-trick.

Race 5 – GALVIN 33/1

GALVIN unseated in this race at the first last year, but that was probably more to do with the long delay to the start of the race caused by protests than by his jumping ability.

The Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year-old is a class act and appears to get in here off a reasonable weight.

He should still be galloping when many are running on empty and if able to enjoy a clear round and still be in touch approaching the last, he will have a real shout of coming through to win the race.

As an 11-year-old, Latenightpass is at the upper end of the age range of previous winners, but he has only had eight chase runs, winning four of them, with the additional plus of having already won over the National fences.

Dan Skelton’s charge has already won over an extended trip with a successful run over the cross-country course at Cheltenham’s December meeting, and his jumping and stamina means he has to pose a threat here.

Ain’t That A Shame finished down the field in the National last season, but at least now knows what the experience is like, as he jumps well and has won at Grade 3 level so has a decent amount of ability.

The fact that Rachael Blackmore has opted for another of Henry De Bromhead’s charges, 2021 Gold Cup winner Minello Indo, might be seen as a negative, but the jockey can only have so much influence, and on his day Ain’t That A Shame could have the legs for this.

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