Grand National Meeting 2024 – Day 1 Tips and Betting Preview

The flat season is now up and running in the UK but the attention turns from that back to the jumps for the next three days as Aintree opens its doors to the world for the Grand National meeting, the most famous horse race in the world.

We have to wait until Saturday for the big race but this meeting is becoming very strong in its own right. We have the Foxhunters over the National fences on Thursday and a decent card overall, one where we have picked out two bets.

4.05 Aintree: Foxhunters Chase

The first sight of the National fences this year is for the 2 mile 5 furlong Foxhunters where Cheltenham 2nd, It’s On The Line, is the current favourite.  He fell in this last year but if he gets a clear round, he will surely be in the mix.  On paper, Bennys King for the in-form Dan Skelton, is the best UK hope & he was 2nd in this 12 months ago but he’s now a 13 year old so it’s hard to know how much potential still exists.  Time Leader is the one for us.  He was 5th in this last year at a massive price of 80/1 & since then he’s won 4 of his 6 starts.  The one blemish was in a point to point race where a bad blunder cost him but typically his jumping has been pretty solid.   His record in good races was enhanced last month at Cheltenham when he finished 3rd, just over 5 lengths behind It’s On The Line.  The shorter trip here will be in his favour & this has definitely been the long term target.   If he gets a clear round, it’s really hard to see him out of the frame as despite the big field, there’s not much depth beyond the first 5 or 6 in the market.   A cracking each way bet.


Back Time Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

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4.40 Aintree: Red Rum Handicap Chase

A cracking 2 mile handicap with the Grand Annual’s 1st, 3rd, 6th and 8th all reappearing here.  Saint Roi, 6th that day, is the current favourite but he’s got it all to do to reverse placings with the winner, Unexpected Party & 3rd, Path D’Oroux.   However, we’re staying clear of that Cheltenham race & siding with Black Gerry.  He has up & down form with form figures of P5PF2 this term but he’s definitely better than he’s been able to show this term.  He won 3 last term including one of a mark 5lbs higher than he has today & he is expected to have conditions in his favour this afternoon.  Soft ground suits but of more importance is the trip; A record of 1 win from 8 at two & a half miles or further versus 5 from 10 at shorter trips is pretty compelling.  In fact, his record in handicaps on ground with soft or heavy in the description reads 31111 which is very good indeed with the only slight doubt being that the last of those runs was 12 months ago.  This is definitely a step up in class but he comes here under the radar & should go well at a nice price.


Back Black Gerry (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)

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