I have to say this is possibly my favourite day of the year ... as Pharrell says it's because 'I'm Happy'
|@Aintreeinfo with Across The Bay after his Rendlesham win|
Today though is sentimental in 2 ways for me and as the title says it really is a tale of 2 Bays. Firstly Across The Bay who I have been very fortunate to be connected with for the last few years. 95-1 on Betfair is a really a joke price. I'm not saying that because I know one of the owners but because this lad has ability. He gets in a pound lower than last year, is a proven stayer as his Haydock victory proved and gets slightly softer ground than last year which is a plus. I'd say he's about 5lbs better than last year. Watch last years race ... he pretty much led for 27 fences. With more patient tactics this year he will be ridden just off the pace and to be very honest I think Henry actually rides the horse better than Jason. Good luck Henry, bring him home safe above all and enjoy the spin !
Now for the more sentimental stuff. Tidal Bay ... what an enigmatic horse. He just gets better and Mr Nicholls really has turned the tap on with this guy. It seems so long ago since he commanded The Arkle and made it a procession. This guy owes no-one. He will probably retire soon and he will be sorely missed. I would love to see a Grand National on his CV. Yes he's 13 but with training methods as they are now horses are enjoying 'Indian Summers' ... look at Hello Bud & Tartan Snow who have excelled over these fences. In a different sphere Ryan Giggs is still playing Premiership football at 40 and all because of fitness and diet regimes. Ignore Tidal Bay at your peril !
|Tidal Bay in full flow|
Now for the rest. By the way, anyone who says they have a tip for The National is a liar. We can however make informed opinions. All 40 horses line up to win this thing. There is no 'getting fit for another day' here .. this is the one. The prize money shows that. The easier course last year had all the owners and trainers watching and with only a couple of fallers I believe we are seeing the start of better animals running in this race. The official ratings have never been higher as an average. With this in mind I suggest that form is king this year and you should target the top ten in the betting market.
Teaforthree was one of my picks last year but at 8-1 is no value. He will go well though. My 'likely winners' list compiles of the aforementioned Tidal Bay, Long Run and Prince De Beauchene. Long Run is a Gold Cup winner and has been crying out for a trip all of his life. His jockey may be an amateur but as he proved on Thursday he rides these fences better than anyone.
Prince De Beauchene is in the same ownership as Tidal Bay and I really can see the Wylie's having 2 in the first four home. Look at his mark now compared to Trilo D'Alene in the Hennessy ... he's plummeted. Don't forget Mullins could have sent On His Own here so there is some confidence in the stable behind this guy.
If you want bigger priced outsiders look no further than Balthazar King and The Package.
Above all let's see them all home safe ... Have a great day all ... these are days to savour.