BLAKLION SNEAKS INTO THE NATIONAL AGAIN: Blaklion, sixth last year after just scraping into the race, has again made the cut for Saturday’s Grand National following two withdrawals, one of them Chris’s Dream, which bumps up the 2021 hero, Minella Times, to topweight. Chatham Street Lad is the other absentee.

Currently missing the cut at No 40 but still hopeful are: 41 Death Duty, 42 Domaine de L’Isle, 43 Eclair Surf, 44 Fortescue, 45 Commodore, 46 School Boy Hours, 47 Romain De Senam.

COME RAIN OR SHINE THE GOING WILL BE SOFT: Aintree intends a balancing act between watering and the forecast showers, with the intention of a going return on the soft side of good: ‘soft ground is safer for the horses,’ is their explanation. At the same time they don’t want to create a bias against the top horses who have to carry weight.



There’ll be a storm if it’s heavy! Bad ground on Saturday would be so against those with 11 stone or more in the Grand National that the nearest they could hope for is to finish fourth, according to the stats this century (2000-2021).

When it’s ‘good to soft’, on the other hand, the higher weights have provided four winners, and good ground helped them to three straight strikes (2010-12) years.

2018 Only two of 12 finishers had 11st or more (best fourth). Heavy
2016 Only one finished in first 13 with 11st or more (fourth). Soft
2014 Only one in first 16 with 11st more (fifth). Soft
2001 Only four finished; one with 11st 5lb (fourth). Heavy

2021 None of the six horses carrying 11st or more completed the course.
2019 Four of first six to finish had 11st or more (winner). Good to soft
2017 Only one in first 15 with 11st or more (fourth). Good to soft
2015 Only two in first 11 with 11st or more (winner). Good to soft
2013 Only one in first 11 with 11st or more (third). Good to soft
2009 Four of first six to finish had 11st or more (winner). Good to soft
2006 Only one of nine finishers set 11st plus (second). Good to soft
2005 First two had 11st or more (winner). Good to soft

2012 Three of 13 finishers carried 11st or more (winner). Good
2011 Three of first seven finishers on 11st or more (winner). Good
2010 Five of first 10 finishers had 11st or more (winner). Good
2008 Three of first five home had 11st or more (third). Good
2007 Three in first 11 had 11st or more (sixth). Good
2004 Only one of the first eight carried more than 11st (fourth). Good
2003 None of the first nine carried 11st or more. Good
2002 Just two of 11 finishers carried more than 11st (second). Good
2000 Four of 17 finishers carried 11st or more (fifth). Good

Saturday going preferences: Here are winning ground conditions of Saturday’s top 20 probables (with weights revised after yesterday’s withdrawals):

HEAVY Any Second Now (10-11-8), Brahma Bull (11-11-6), Burrows Saint (9-11-5), Delta Work (9-11-9), De Rasher Counter (10-10-12), Enjoy D’Allen (8-10-11), Escaria Ten (8-11–1), *Eclair Surf (8-10-6), Fiddlerontheroof (8-11-4), Longhouse Poet (8-11-4), Noble Yeats (7-10-10), Mount Ida (8-11-5), Run Wild Fred (8-11-7)

SOFT Any Second Now (10-11-8), Brahma Bull (11-11-6), Burrows Saint (9-11-5), Delta Work (9-11-9), Discorama (9-10-11), Escaria Ten (8-11–1), *Eclair Surf (8-10-6), Farclas (8-11-1), Fiddlerontheroof (8-11-4), Good Boy Bobby (9-10-13), Kildisart (10-10-11), Longhouse Poet (8-11-4), Minella Times (9-11-10), Mount Ida (8-11-5), Noble Yeats (7-10-10), Run Wild Fred (8-11-7), Snow Leopardess (10-10-9),

YIELDING Brahma Bull (11-11-6), Burrows Saint (9-11-5), Delta Work (9-11-9), Discorama (9-10-11), Enjoy D’Allen (8-10-11), Mount Ida (8-11-5)

GOOD TO SOFT Any Second Now (10-11-8), Brahma Bull (11-11-6), Cloth Cap (10-10-10), Fiddlerontheroof (8-11-4), De Rasher Counter (10-10-12), Good Boy Bobby (9-10-13), Kildisart (10-10-11), Minella Times (9-11-10), Mount Ida (8-11-5), Snow Leopardess (10-10-9).

GOOD Brahma Bull (11-11-6), Burrows Saint (9-11-5), Cloth Cap (10-10-10), Delta Work (9-11-9), Farclas (8-11-1), Kildisart (10-10-11), Run Wild Fred (8-11-7), Snow Leopardess (10-10-9)

*No 43 Eclair Surf needs four to come out.


⭕ 2.50 Southwell Kilbarry Leader looks a solid option in this mares bumper following her pleasing Rules debut.

After an impressive wining Point debut at Dromahane she chased home I Am Gonna Be at Newcastle, the third from that race Ruby Island came out to win next time out at Hexham last week.

She is preferred to Betty’s Belle who is finding life tougher under a penalty since her debut Warwick win although this one does take a step down the class ladder.


⭕ 3.50 Pontefract There’s just 2lb between Soul Stopper and Savvy Victory on official ratings but the proven soft ground form of Soul Stopper tips me in favour of the Andrew Balding trained runner over his chief BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE rival Savvy Victory.

Soul Stopper actually ran his best race when it was soft at Newmarket on his third and final start as a two-year-old when only collared close home to be beaten a neck by New London. He should suited by the testing Pontefract circuit.

Savvy Victory, in contrast, is looking a little bit more exposed and is unproven with give in the ground. He was no match for the impressive Antarah at Newcastle last time out but could easily have ‘bumped into one’ that day and should again run his race if coping with the ground.

King Eagle didn’t show a great deal on his debut at Nottingham last October but it would come as no surprise to see an improved performance whilst Levitate has shown promise in two starts over this trip but probably needs to improve further to play a hand.


⭕ 4.50 Exeter Small fields are the order of the day at Exeter but Mason Jar looks a bet on the card in this long distance handicap hurdle.

He shouldn’t have any problem with this test of stamina – he is a previous winner at Kempton over 2m 5f on similar good ground and he now looks like getting back on a sensible handicap mark.

Rated as high as 134, he is now racing off 116 which is another 3lb lower than his latest effort at Sedgefield where he showed a little more zest over a trip that was surely too short.

He is preferred to the Tim Vaughan trained Trixster who was held off this mark at Market Rasen last time out when third.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 10 points)
BET 5.0pts win KILBARRY LEADER (2.50 Southwell)
BET 11pts win (nap) SOUL STOPPER (3.50 Pontefract)
BET 3.1pts win MASON JAR (4.50 Exeter)

What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….

Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.