Grand National

It's the Aintree Festival this week, culminating with the Grand National on Saturday.  I thought some of you may be interested in this; the Sporting Life's guide to all the entries that are still in the mix.  The final field won't be known until later this week; there is always a few that opt not to run and this let's a few of those who are presently missing the cut to compete.

Grand National Runners: Pinstickers guide to Saturday’s big race and tips (

Plenty in here that are trained in our County (JonJo, Kim Bailey, Ben Pauling, Nigel T-D).

I last picked the winner back in 1986 (West Tip) so I would not put too much faith in my opinions!  Recently I've had the absolute pleasure of spending some time listening to Polly Gundry, Alice Fox-Pitt and Emma Lavelle so we'll be keeping an interested eye on Santini (Polly), Snow Leopardess (bred and owned by Alice's family) , De Rasher Counter and Eclair Surf (from Emma's Yard).  The law of averages says that after 36 years I must be edging closer to picking the winner!!!

Venturing up to Aintree for the first time on Saturday. Really looking forward to the day and experiencing the atmosphere of one of the great British sporting events

Get up early and go on the course walk which is fascinating as you can get up close to the big fences. You can visit Red Rums grave, there is a museum of memorabilia and the parade of champions It will be crowded, lots of folk in their best party outfits ( its a tweed free zone, more night club than cotswold. It may be freezing and pouring down but they'll dress up just the same) and in truth you get a better view of the race on the telly, but has a special atmosphere which is different to any other I've experienced racing. I hope you have a great time.. I'll admit to being envious!

The declarations are in and these are the horses that will run Saturday. Éclair Surf for me but as I said before, not picked a winner for many many years!

Few late changes to the field

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