Chris Cook: As they did last year, OLBG.com have offered us a couple of charity bets on the Grand National, with any proceeds going to the Injured Jockeys Fund. In the hope of doing better than last year, I’ve asked for £25 each-way on Lord Windermere, while Tony Paley has gone with £25 each-way on The Young Master.
Today’s best bets, by Greg Wood
The day before the first afternoon of the Grand National meeting is never likely to offer an abundance of value and competition for punters, but there are a few interesting races dotted around the meetings, not least at Kempton Park this evening where Gala Celebration (7.45) remains a very interesting bet at around 6-4 following the withdrawal of the overnight favourite, Mitigate.
Even with Mititgate in the field, Martin Dwyer’s mount looked like a fair alternative at the prices, having made all the running to win by a very comfortable four lengths on his latest start at Lingfield Park. Dwyer has a useful draw in stall three if he wants to attempt the same tactics, and with Mitigate absent, Gala Celebration will be very hard to reel in if he gets to the lead.
Selection will be a strong favourite to make a winning handicap debut from a mark of 72 in the preceding race, but has not done a great deal thus far to justify a short price in quite a competitive field and could find that recent winner Spiritual Star (7.15) is a tricky opponent.
Innocent Girl (2.50) is four from six since joining Harry Fry’s stable at the start of the season and made a smooth winning return from a five-month break in a chase at Taunton last week. She is back over hurdles at Wincanton this afternoon from a 16lb lower mark and should make short work of her four rivals.
Butlergrove King (3.55) is another to consider on the same card, while at Carlisle, Calivigny (4.05) could return to winning form after a promising run over course and distance last time out.
Carlisle 2.00 Lord Ballim 2.30 Achill Road Boy 3.00 Mr Big Shot 3.35 Scooter Boy 4.05 Calivigny 4.35 Ouro Branco
Wincanton 1.50 Gulshanigans 2.20 Lou Vert 2.50 Innocent Girl 3.20 Thumb Stone Blues 3.55 Butlergrove King 4.25 Toby Lerone 4.55 Shall We Go Now
Wolverhampton 2.10 Powerful Dream 2.40 Pealer 3.10 Smiley Bagel 3.45 Ruler Of The Nile 4.15 Mr Red Clubs 4.45 Sir Jamie 5.15 Jack Blane
Kempton Park 5.45 Malt Teaser 6.15 Bowerman 6.45 Archer’s Arrow 7.15 Spiritual Star (nb) 7.45 Gala Celebration (nap) 8.15 Priors Brook 8.45 McDelta 9.15 Fabulous Flyer