As promised here are Nick Hardman’s selections for the Grand National, if we get a repeat of last years performance by Nick we’ll be very pleased…
The trends point to two outright qualifiers in Regal Encore and Vieux Lion Rouge. Just failing on a couple are Houblon Des Obeaux, I Just Know and Captain Redbeard.
Regal Encore is an all-or-nothing horse but is talented on his day and got round in his own time to finish 8th last year. He is 4lb well in here and I will take a chance he is on a going day.
I Just Know is also worth backing as an up and coming chaser with a good profile and from a yard no stranger to success in this.
Milansbar is another I like on account of the rain softened ground, but he too is hit and miss. Again, I will take a chance this is a going day.
Houblon Des Obeaux I will have on side as he again got round last year and if this turns out to be a war of attrition then he could plod into a place.
Vieux Lion Rouge has a perfect profile and while he has got round the last twice, he was beaten miles on both occasions.
The handicapper has cut him no slack so it could be another repeat here, a good run but not good enough. Captain Redbeard was no match for The Dutchman in the Trial at Haydock and I prefer the chances of the latter.
The concern is he bled last time and if that happens again then he will be out with a circuit to go. Again, I will take a chance.
Houblon Des Obeaux @40/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places)
Milansbar @33/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, Betway)
Regal Encore @28/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, Betway)
I Just Know @22/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, PP) or 20/1 e/w same terms Boyles
The Dutchman @25/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, PP)