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Randox Grand National Festival: Dave Nevison's best bets for day one at Aintree

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Thu 8 Apr 2021

Our website tipster Dave Nevison hopes an unbeaten juvenile will continue to impress and a handicap chaser continues his revival. Enjoy every moment from this year's Randox Grand National Festival at Aintree live only on Racing TV.

2.20 Aintree: Monmiral at evens with William Hill

He wasn’t entered in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he looks every inch a contender for best juvenile of the season judged by his three wins form three runs since joining Paul Nicholls from France.

He easily won the Grade Two Summit Hurdle at Doncaster on his second start and possibly put up an even better performance when winning comfortably at Haydock last time.

He is clearly well suited by a flat, left-handed track and I am hoping that the quicker ground does not pose him any problems. The presence of Triumph runner-up Adagio - plus several other useful types - make this by far the most competitive event he has contested, but I am expecting him to be up to it.

4.40 Aintree: Destrier at 6-1 with Ladbrokes

Quality handicap chases over two miles with fields of 18 runners are rare events during any season and this is extremely competitive, but I feel pretty confident that this is best left to Getaway Trump and Destrier - who is extremely well-handicapped if returning to his best.

He was a close third in a Grade One novice event the last time he ran over this course and distance, and everything that finished around him is still rated at least in the mid-140s. That was a solid run against solid rivals.

Things have not gone as well since, being beaten twice and then not sighted for a year after disappointing at Doncaster early last year when well-fancied. However, it definitely looked as though he was on the way back last time and he wasn’t in any way knocked about.

He arrives here off a mark of 136 compared to a high of 151 in handicaps not so long ago. Still only an eight-year-old with his jockey going all-out for the championship, he looks certain to give a very good account.

5.50 Chelmsford: Critique at 9-2 with William Hill

The handicapper has not dropped him for a succession of defeats and seems to share my view that it is not his mark that is holding him back, but this trip is ideal and his yard is in very good form at present.

He should probably have won at least one his final three starts last season, but he remains a maiden after bumping into handicap blot Stone Mason at this track on the one occasion he had a senior jockey on board.

I predict it won’t be the same this season and he should land one soon. If he gets a decent pace he should win this in my view, and hopefully his jockey will be wise to the possibility that this race may not be truly run.

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