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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

The42′s Winning Post: Everything you need to enjoy Day Three of Aintree

And hopefully find you a winner.

Vieux Lion Rouge File Photo 25% of Grand National favourites have won the race in the last 20 years. Source: Clint Hughes/PA Images

Three big talking points…

1. A GRAND OLD time: We’ll have a separate Grand National (5.15pm) preview up soon, but it would be weird to preview day three of the Aintree festival without mentioning the biggest race of the year.

Vieux Lion Rouge is the 10/1 favourite and looks tailor-made for it having won the Becher Chase over the National fences as well as the Grand National trial at Haydock

However, favouritism is not necessarily a good thing as the head of the market has been first past the post just five times in the last 20 runnings and Don’t Push It in 2010 was the last market leader to win.

At longer prices, 2015 runner-up Saint Are (33/1) will tickle many fancies while Lord Windermere — a Gold Cup winner — comes into the race a full stone lighter than last year’s disappointing performance and with two-time winner of this race, Leighton Aspell, on board.

Kerry Lee, who seems to specialise in training long-distance horses has two in this one and Goodtoknow (66/1) comes in with somewhat decent form, having a first and second place in his last three races.

Charbel ridden by Patrick Mullins Charbel will interest a lot of punters. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

2. Charbel of the ball: You probably won’t notice from the coverage, but there are other races on during day three of Aintree and the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase (3pm) looks like it could be a decent renewal.

Charbel (8/11) goes in as the favourite as he aims to bounce back from a late fall in the Arkle last month at Cheltenham where he gave backers of Altior a fright with a strong front-running performance.

With just five going to post, Politologue (9/2) is the main danger as he hopes a drop back in trip will help following a disappointing JLT run three weeks ago.

32Red Winter Festival - Day One - Kempton Park Racecourse Yanworth takes a stab at the Liverpool Hurdle on Saturday. Source: Julian Herbert/PA Images

3. Yanworth a punt? JP McManus has decided Yanworth (13/8) will be his chosen representative in the Liverpool Hurdle at 4.40pm on Saturday and the seven-year-old will start as favourite.

Coral Cup winner Supasundae (8/1) steps up to Grade 1 company but can’t be discounted and neither can Ballyoptic 8/1 despite a really disappointing Stayers’ Hurdle performance last month.

Keep an eye on Puffin Billy (66/1) who hasn’t raced in two years but had three wins to his name before his extended break.

NAP of the day…

It’s a bit after the Lord Mayor’s show, but the final race of the festival, The Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle — only open to conditional jockeys and amateur riders — could well be the lucky last with Wakea ticking all the boxes at 6/1.

An each-way fancy…

Horse Racing - 2015 Cheltenham Festival - Gold Cup Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Can Lord Windermere do better than last year? Source: Mike Egerton/PA Images

Call me a romantic, but it feels like Lord Windermere – especially coming down in weight — has a real shot at the Gold Cup/Grand National double and, at 50/1 pays quite decently each-way too.


€10 on CharbelYanworth and Wakea will return €306.25

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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