Only four horses in the history of the race which began in 1839 have won the Grand National in successive years. Tiger Roll is the most likely winner this year and will join that exclusive club but the value in the price has gone. Two other horses won versions of the Nationals back-to-back but are not in the record books because the races were not official ones run at Aintree.
On ratings Tiger Roll has something in hand but the last horse to win the National twice in a row was Red Rum in 1973 and 1974. ROCK THE KASBAH ticks most of the boxes and the horse can be backed at 20/1 with Coral to win the 2019 Grand National on Saturday. The jockey will be ridden by the three times champion Richard Johnson who has never won the big race.
The National is the feature on the three day Grand National meeting which begins on Thursday. There are nine Grade 1 races which is second only to the Cheltenham Festival in terms of the number of races at the highest level at one fixture over jumps. There is a three week gap between the spring festivals this year which makes it feasible for horses to run at both. Waiting Patiently has been saved for Aintree.
The second biggest race is probably the Melling Chase on Friday but Altior will be absent. This could be the day on which WAITING PATIENTLY will reward the patience of the trainer by winning this Grade 1 Chase at the current price of 5/1 with Ladbrokes. Thursday’s Aintree Hurdle looks like being the race of the meeting. The mares allowance received by BENIE DES DIEUX could be crucial for a horse who is on offer at 6/1 with Coral to win this race.
Ludlow on a Monday and Aintree at the end of the week are like chalk and cheese. The catering at the Shropshire track is a tea room that serves the best Cornish pasties in the world. Punters can also enjoy a decent handicap chase over two miles at 3.55 but there are only four runners. The morning odds-on favourite is Timoteo but there is better value in backing VALSEUR DU GRANVAL at 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
There are matches in the Premier League this week with Manchester City at home to Cardiff and Liverpool on the road at Southampton. Arsenal play Newcastle at the Emirates tonight and they have the third best home record after the two big guns. A home win is essential for their top four ambitions and that can be achieved with something in hand and ARSENAL -1 is 21/20 with Coral.